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There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Network analysis is an emerging approach in the study of psychopathology, yet few applications have been seen in eating disorders (EDs). Furthermore, little research exists regarding changes in network strength after interventions. Therefore the present study examined the network structures of ED and co-occurring depression and anxiety symptoms before and after treatment for EDs.
Participants from residential or partial hospital ED treatment programs (N = 446) completed assessments upon admission and discharge. Networks were estimated using regularized Graphical Gaussian Models using 38 items from the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire, Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
ED symptoms with high centrality indices included a desire to lose weight, guilt about eating, shape overvaluation, and wanting an empty stomach, while restlessness, self-esteem, lack of energy, and feeling overwhelmed bridged ED to depression and anxiety symptoms. Comparisons between admission and discharge networks indicated the global network strength did not change significantly, though symptom severity decreased. Participants with denser networks at admission evidenced less change in ED symptomatology during treatment.
Findings suggest that symptoms related to shape and weight concerns and guilt are central ED symptoms, while physical symptoms, self-esteem, and feeling overwhelmed are links that may underlie comorbidities in EDs. Results provided some support for the validity of network approaches, in that admission networks conveyed prognostic information. However, the lack of correspondence between symptom reduction and change in network strength indicates that future research is needed to examine network dynamics in the context of intervention and relapse prevention.
Agricultural service providers often work closely with producers, and are well positioned to include weather and climate change information in the services they provide. By doing so, they can help producers reduce risks due to climate variability and change. A national survey of United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) field staff (n = 4621) was conducted in 2016. The survey was designed to assess FSA employees’ use of climate and weather-related data and explore their perspectives on climate change, attitudes toward adaptation and concerns regarding climate- and weather-driven risks. Two structural equation models were developed to explore relationships between these factors, and to predict respondents’ willingness to integrate climate and weather data into their professional services in the future. The two models were compared with assess the relative influence of respondents’ current use of weather and climate information. Findings suggest that respondents’ perceptions of weather-related risk in combination with their personal observations of weather variability help predict whether an individual intends to use weather and climate information in the future. Importantly, climate change belief is not a significant predictor of this intention; however, the belief that producers will have to adapt to climate change in order to remain viable is. Surprisingly, whether or not an individual currently uses weather and climate information is not a good predictor of whether they intend to in the future. This suggests that there are opportunities to increase employee exposure and proficiency with weather and climate information to meet the needs of American farmers by helping them to reduce risk.
The MWA EoR is one of a small handful of experiments designed to detect the statistical signal from the Epoch of Reionisation. Each of these experiments has reached a level of maturity, where the challenges, in particular of foreground removal, are being more fully understood. Over the past decade, the MWA EoR Collaboration has developed expertise and an understanding of the elements of the telescope array, the end-to-end pipelines, ionospheric conditions, and and the foreground emissions. Sufficient data has been collected to detect the theoretically predicted EoR signal. Limits have been published regularly, however we still several orders of magnitude from a possible detection. This paper outlines recent progress and indicates directions for future efforts.
Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is associated with CVD, impaired kidney function and proteinuria. To date, no study has evaluated these associations in renal transplant recipients (RTR) adjusting for body adiposity assessed by a ‘gold standard’ method. This study aimed to evaluate the vitamin D status and its association with body adiposity, CVD risk factors, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria in RTR, living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (a low-latitude city (22°54'10"S)), taking into account body adiposity evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This cross-sectional study included 195 RTR (114 men) aged 47·6 (sd 11·2) years. Nutritional evaluation included anthropometry and DXA. Risk factors for CVD were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia and the metabolic syndrome. eGFR was evaluated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration was used to define vitamin D status as follows: 10 % (n 19) had vitamin D deficiency (<16 ng/ml), 43 % (n 85) had insufficiency (16–30 ng/ml) and 47 % (n 91) had sufficiency (>30 ng/ml). Percentage of body fat (DXA) was significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency independently of age, sex and eGFR. Lower 25(OH)D was associated with higher odds of the metabolic syndrome and dyslipidaemia after adjustment for age, sex and eGFR, but not after additional adjustment for body fat. Hypertension and diabetes were not related to 25(OH)D. Lower serum 25(OH)D was associated with increasing proteinuria and decreasing eGFR even after adjustments for age, sex and percentage of body fat. This study suggests that in RTR of a low-latitude city hypovitaminosis D is common, and is associated with excessive body fat, decreased eGFR and increased proteinuria.
Gender-based inequality is pervasive. Historically and cross-culturally, men have held more resources, power, and status than women. Despite general trends toward gender equality, male dominance remains a global reality. As of 2014, the global gender gap in economic participation and opportunity, which includes gender gaps in income, labor force participation, and professional advancement, stood at 60% (Hausmann, Tyson, Bekhouche, & Zahidi, 2014). If progress toward gender equality continues at the same pace, it will take until 2095 to completely close this gap. Yet in contrast to characterizations of intergroup relations as hostile and competitive, gender relations are predominantly cooperative – individual men and women consistently engage in and sustain close relationships with members of the other sex, whether friends, parents, siblings, or significant others. Herein lies the gender relationship paradox. How is the tension between male hegemony and male-female intimacy reconciled?
Ambivalent sexism theory (Glick & Fiske, 1996) recognizes that sexism entails a mixture of antipathy and subjective benevolence:
• Hostile sexism corresponds to classic definitions of prejudice as antipathy (Allport, 1954) and reflects the hostile derogation of women who pose a threat to the gender hierarchy (e.g., feminists).
• Benevolent sexism is “a set of interrelated attitudes toward women that are sexist in terms of viewing women stereotypically and in restricted roles but that are subjectively positive in feeling (for the perceiver)” (Glick & Fiske, 1996, p. 491). Benevolent sexism bestows affection on women who embrace limited but traditional gender roles (e.g., housewives). Hence, although benevolent sexism may appear positive, it presumes and reinforces women's subordinate status.
Ambivalent sexism theory argues that hostile and benevolent sexism are, in fact, not conflicting but complementary ideologies that present a resolution to the gender relationship paradox. By offering male protection and provision to women in exchange for their compliance, benevolent sexism recruits women as unwitting participants in their own subjugation, thereby obviating overt coercion. Hostile sexism serves to safeguard the status quo by punishing those who deviate from traditional gender roles.
This chapter discusses ambivalent sexism as a coordinated system of control that serves male dominance and limits women's power across personal, economic, and political domains. First, we review ambivalent sexism theory, focusing on ambivalent sexism's system-justifying functions. The second section addresses how ambivalent sexism polices women's bodies through the threat of rape, sexual harassment, and violence, as well as oppressive beauty ideals.
The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.
We present infrared interferometric angular size measurements for rapidly rotating stars which indicate non-circular projected disk brightness distributions. For the A7IV-V star Altair, assuming that the apparent oblateness of the photosphere is due to the star's rapid rotation, a rigorous evaluation of the observation data in the context of a rigidly rotating Roche model shows that an estimate of v sin i = 210 ± 13 km s–1 can be derived that is independent of spectroscopic techniques. Altair is the first main sequence star for which direct observations of an oblate photosphere have been reported, and the first star for which v sin i has been established from observations of the star's photospheric geometry. Future prospects for this technique are considered, and a prospective catalog of 67 rotationally oblate targets is presented.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
A scalable approach for synthesis of ultra-thin (<10 nm) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) films on stretchable polymeric materials is presented. Specifically, magnetron sputtering from pure TMD targets, such as MoS2 and WS2, was used for growth of amorphous precursor films at room temperature on polydimethylsiloxane substrates. Stacks of different TMD films were grown upon each other and integrated with optically transparent insulating layers such as boron nitride. These precursor films were subsequently laser annealed to form high quality, few-layer crystalline TMDs. This combination of sputtering and laser annealing is commercially scalable and lends itself well to patterning. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, scanning probe, optical, and transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirm our assertions and illustrate annealing mechanisms. Electrical properties of simple devices built on flexible substrates are correlated to annealing processes. This new approach is a significant step toward commercial-scale stretchable 2D heterostructured nanoelectronic devices.
The focal article by Bergman and Jean (2016) raises an important issue by documenting the underrepresentation of nonprofessional and nonmanagerial workers in industrial and organizational (I-O) research. They defined workers as, “people who were not executive, professional or managerial employees; who were low- to medium-skill; and/or who were wage earners rather than salaried” (p. 89). This definition encompasses a wide range of employee samples: from individuals working in blue-collar skilled trades like electricians and plumbers to police officers, soldiers, and call center representatives to low-skill jobs such as fast food, tollbooth operators, and migrant day workers. Because there is considerable variability in the pay, benefits, skill level, autonomy, job security, schedule flexibility, and working conditions that define these workers’ experiences, a more fine-grained examination of who these workers are is necessary to understand the scope of the problem and the specific subpopulations of workers represented (or not) in existing I-O research.
In an attempt to distill what we know about the effects of workplace mindfulness-based training, Hyland, Lee, and Mills (2015) cast a wide net with regard to the array of studies included in their review. For example, they include studies that investigate the benefits associated with workplace mindfulness training (e.g., Wolever et al., 2012) as well as training conducted for patients within primary care settings (e.g., Allen, Bromley, Kuyken, & Sonnenberg, 2009). In addition, their review includes studies based on self-reports of individual differences in mindfulness traits/skills (e.g., Hafenbrack, Kinias, & Barsade, 2014). Reviewing a broad cross-section of research is helpful to illustrate the wide-ranging nature of mindfulness research but also has the potential to obfuscate what we know about mindfulness as it pertains to workers and workplaces.
Coping skills provide a resource for tackling stress in everyday situations, including those relating to parenting. The aim of this article is to establish whether parents who experienced a 10-hour universal social emotional parenting program — Families Coping (FC) — benefit through increased productive coping strategies, decreased nonproductive coping strategies, and increased parent wellbeing, within a positive parenting framework. It is also of interest to see whether gender and/or partner attendance makes a difference in program outcomes such as coping styles and wellbeing. The data set combined two groups of parents (N = 23) of preschool-aged children from an early learning centre in inner-metropolitan Melbourne in 2013 and 2014 who undertook the FC parenting program. A mixed methods design was employed, where parents completed pre- and post-program questionnaires on coping and wellbeing. Results were considered with respect to gender and partner attendance. A one-way repeated-measures multiple analysis of variance (RM-MANOVA) showed a significant increase in one productive parenting style (Dealing with the Problem), a significant decrease in nonproductive parent coping, and a significant increase in parent wellbeing. Comparison of results between gender and partner attendance groups showed minimal differences in program effectiveness. Qualitative data mostly confirmed the key findings.
Polymer nanofiber scaffolds for use in neural tissue engineering have been fabricated via electrospinning of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) directly onto a 3D printed support. Previously, the investigators have shown success in promoting the directed growth of neural axons on highly aligned PLLA substrates both in vitro and in vivo. However, one criticism of the earlier in vitro studies is that by spinning fibers on a flat, two-dimensional surface, the growth of the axons is restricted to one plane. Thus the axon-to-fiber attachment may not be the sole mechanism for aligning the growth of the axons along the fibers, and the channels between the fibers and the substrate could contribute to the results. Using 3D-printing, elevated or “bridge” spinning stages were made with supports at varying heights, allowing the fibers to be suspended 2 to 5 mm above the substrate surface in different configurations. This 3D structure promotes better access of in vitro cell cultures on the fibers to the growth media during incubation, reduces substrate effects, allows more degrees of freedom for axonal growth, and more closely simulates the growth environment found in vivo. Using these 3D stages, we have electrospun free-standing, highly-aligned pure PLLA fiber scaffolds. We are exploring spinning coaxial fibers with a PLLA sheath and a second core polymer. These coaxial fiber scaffold structures offer additional opportunities for in situ delivery of growth agents and/or electrical stimulation for improved axonal growth results.
In this randomized controlled trial, 508 5-year-old kindergarten children participated, of whom 257 were delayed in literacy skills because they belonged to the lowest quartile of a national standard literacy test. We tested the hypothesis that some children are more susceptible to school-entry educational interventions than their peers due to their genetic makeup, and thus whether the dopamine receptor D4 gene moderated intervention effects. Children were randomly assigned to a control condition or one of two interventions involving computer programs tailored to the literacy needs of delayed pupils: Living Letters for alphabetic knowledge and Living Books for text comprehension. Effects of Living Books met the criteria of differential susceptibility. For carriers of the dopamine receptor D4 gene seven-repeat allele (about one-third of the delayed group), the Living Books program was an important addition to the common core curriculum in kindergarten (effect size d = 0.56), whereas the program did not affect the other children (d = –0.09). The same seven-repeat carriers benefited more from Living Letters than did the noncarriers, as reflected in effect sizes of 0.63 and 0.34, respectively, although such differences did not fulfill the statistical criteria for differential susceptibility. The implications of differential susceptibility for education and regarding the crucial question “what works for whom?” are discussed.