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The effects of Ag nanoparticles on microorganisms and the antimicrobial mechanism has recently been validated for different microbiological strains, as well as their cytotoxic effect in in vitro cellular models. In this work we report the synthesis of Ag nanoparticles using the extract of Eichhornia crassipes as reducing agent, and evaluated its antimicrobial activity with Escherichia coli. The morphology, size and inhibition properties of the nanoparticles as a function of the reduction time in the chemical synthesis were analyzed. The characterization was carried out by UV-Vis spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy. Nanoparticles with average diameters of 40 nm ± 10 nm were obtained and their antimicrobial activity with higher inhibition in Escherichia coli was recorded with the nanoparticle samples obtained at 120 min. These results suggest that Ag nanoparticles can be used as effective growth inhibitors in various microorganisms, making them applicable to various medical devices and antimicrobial control systems by modifying their concentration.
Immune-inflammatory processes have been implicated in schizophrenia (SCH), but their specificity is not clear.
To identify potential differential intra-/intercellular biochemical pathways controlling immune-inflammatory response and their oxidative-nitrosative impact on SCH patients, compared with bipolar disorder (BD) patients and healthy controls (HC).
Cross-sectional, naturalistic study of a cohort of SCH patients (n=123) and their controls [BD (n=102) and HC (n=80)].
ANCOVA (or Quade test) controlling for age and gender when comparing the three groups, and controlling for age, gender, length of illness, cigarettes per day, and body mass index (BMI) when comparing SCH and BD.
Pro-inflammatory biomarkers: Expression of COX-1 was statistically higher in SCH and BD than HC (P<0.0001; P<0.0001); NFκB and PGE2 were statistically higher in SCH compared with BD (P=0.001; P<0.0001) and HC (P=0.003; P<0.0001); NLRP3 was higher in BD than HC (P=0.005); and CPR showed a gradient among the three groups. Anti-inflammatory biomarkers: BD patients had lower PPARγ and higher 15d-PGJ2 levels than SCH (P=0.005; P=0.008) and HC (P=0.001; P=0.001). Differences between SCH and BD: previous markers of SCH (NFκB and PGE2) and BD (PPARγ and 15d-PGJ2) remained statistically significant and, interestingly, iNOS and COX-2 (pro-inflammatory biomarkers) levels were statistically higher in SCH than BD (P=0.019; P=0.040).
This study suggests a specific immune-inflammatory biomarker pattern for established SCH (NFκB, PGE2, iNOS, and COX-2) that differentiates it from BD and HC. In future, their pharmacological modulation may constitute a promising therapeutic target.
The sand-dune lizard Liolaemus multimaculatus is an Endangered species endemic to the Pampean coastal dunes of Argentina. To inform the development of a future Action Plan for this species, we investigated the demography and conservation status of all remaining populations, and we suggest management actions appropriate to local needs. We used population viability analysis to assess extinction risk in three inbreeding scenarios and estimate the minimum viable population and the minimum area requirement. To assess the current status of each local population, we used information related to population size, human pressure and connectivity. The results were then used to set and prioritize conservation management actions at local level. Our models indicated that populations of > 2,400 individuals would be viable in the long term and that inbreeding depression has a strong effect on extinction risk. The southern patches of coastal dune contain the largest populations of sand-dune lizards, and they are also better connected and less threatened. We suggest land protection as the priority management action for populations larger than the minimum viable population, whereas habitat recovery, when possible, should be the priority for patches of coastal dune smaller than the minimum area requirement. Supplementation with a small number of individuals could stabilize unviable populations but should be considered only in certain situations.
The long-term conservation of the sand-dune lizard will be feasible only if a conservation action plan is developed and implemented.
Eukaryotic 5S rRNA, synthesized by RNA polymerase III (Pol III), is an essential component of the large ribosomal subunit. Most organisms contain hundreds of 5S rRNA genes organized into tandem arrays. However, the genome of the protozoan parasite Leishmania major contains only 11 copies of the 5S rRNA gene, which are interspersed and associated with other Pol III-transcribed genes. Here we report that, in general, the number and order of the 5S rRNA genes is conserved between different species of Leishmania. While in most organisms 5S rRNA genes are normally associated with the nucleolus, combined fluorescent in situ hybridization and indirect immunofluorescence experiments showed that 5S rRNA genes are mainly located at the nuclear periphery in L. major. Similarly, the tandemly repeated 5S rRNA genes in Trypanosoma cruzi are dispersed throughout the nucleus. In contrast, 5S rRNA transcripts in L. major were localized within the nucleolus, and scattered throughout the cytoplasm, where mature ribosomes are located. Unlike other rRNA species, stable antisense RNA complementary to 5S rRNA is not detected in L. major.
Nucleolar assembly is a cellular event that requires the synthesis and processing of ribosomal RNA, in addition to the participation of pre-nucleolar bodies (PNBs) at the end of mitosis. In mammals and plants, nucleolar biogenesis has been described in detail, but in unicellular eukaryotes it is a poorly understood process. In this study, we used light and electron microscopy cytochemical techniques to investigate the distribution of nucleolar components in the pathway of nucleolus rebuilding during closed cell division in epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of American trypanosomiasis. Silver impregnation specific for nucleolar organizer regions and an ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid regressive procedure to preferentially stain ribonucleoprotein revealed the conservation and dispersion of nucleolar material throughout the nucleoplasm during cell division. Furthermore, at the end of mitosis, the argyrophilic proteins were concentrated in the nucleolar organizer region. Unexpectedly, accumulation of nucleolar material in the form of PNBs was not visualized. We suggest that formation of the nucleolus in epimastigotes of T. cruzi occurs by a process that does not require the concentration of nucleolar material within intermediate nuclear bodies such as mammalian and plant PNBs.
Answering questions from texts are assessment and instructional activities that are frequently used in schools. Nevertheless, little is known about the strategic processes that students take while performing these tasks. We explored the amount and frequency that students initially read of a text before they answered questions pertaining to the material. In a procedure similar to the one used in the PISA (Program for International Students Assessment), one-hundred-seventy students between 7th and 9th grade read and answered several questions designed to assess task-oriented reading in three specific texts. We recorded on-line indexes that evaluated student behavior (e.g., the amount of text that students read before answering questions raised within a given text), performance, and comprehension skill. The results revealed that students skilled in comprehension initially read a high proportion of the texts, which in turn improved their overall performance in two of the three texts read (text 1: CI95%: 0.01 to 0.09; text 2: CI95%: –0.01 to 0.05; text 3: CI95%: 0.04 to 0.20). Therefore, we conclude that this strategic behavior should be considered during the assessment and instruction of reading literacy.
This study reports on a ~ 150 m thick macrofossil-barren sequence of siliciclastic sediments from a Burdigalian age (Early Miocene) freshwater lake. The lake was located within an incipient rift system of the Most Basin in the Ohře (Eger) Graben, which was part of the European Cenozoic Rift System, and had an original area of ≈ 1000 km2. Sediments from the HK591 core that cover the entire thickness of the lake deposits and some of the adjacent stratigraphic units were analysed by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (a proxy for element composition) and magnetic polarity measurement. The element proxies were subjected to frequency analysis, which provided estimated sedimentation rates, and allowed for sediment dating by magnetostratigraphy and orbital tuning of the age model. Based on the resulting age model and the known biostratigraphy, the lake was present between 17.4 and 16.6 Ma, which includes the onset of the Miocene Climatic Optimum in the latest Early Miocene. The identification of orbital forcing (precession, obliquity and short eccentricity cycles) confirms the stability of the sedimentary environment of the perennial lake in an underfilled basin. The dating allowed the sediment record to be interpreted in the context of the current knowledge of the European climate during that period. The stability of the sedimentary environment confirms that precipitation was relatively stable over the period recorded by the sediments.
Nowadays, the nature of the non radiative recombination centres in ZnO is a matter of controversy; they have been related to extended defects, zinc vacancy complexes, and surface defects, among other possible candidates. We present herein the optical characterization of catalyst free ZnO nanorods grown by atmospheric MOCVD by microRaman and cathodoluminescence spectroscopies. The correlation between the defect related Raman modes and the cathodoluminescence emission along the nanorods permits to establish a relation between the non radiative recombination centers and the defects responsible for the local Raman modes, which have been related to Zn interstitial complexes.
We report the case of a 26-year-old asymptomatic woman, who presented for consultation after the detection of a cardiac murmur in a medical routine recognition. Doppler echocardiography and the 64-row multidetector computed tomography showed the presence of a significant enlargement of the right coronary artery winding in the contour of the right ventricle and its fistulosa connection to the coronary sinus. Although the coronary fistula in our patient had a considerable size, there was no ventricular dilation, and thus we chose, according to the desire of the patient, not to intervene, and to evaluate her regularly.
The following paper first introduces, and then goes on to test a structural model for goal orientation in sports that involves both personal and contextual variables. 511 subjects participated in this study, male and female athletes who play a variety of sports (352 men and 159 women). They ranged in age from 16 to 45-years old and completed the TEOSQ (Balaguer, Tomás & Castillo's version, 1995), the POSQ (Treasure & Roberts, 1994), the PMCSQ-II (Newton & Duda, 1993), the Beliefs about the Causes of Success in Sports Questionnaire, and the Participation Motivation Inventory (Gill, Goss & Huddleston, 1983). The results of this sample show that success attribution and motivational climate are involved in determining goal orientation in sports. However, the model does present certain differences according to the type of sport practiced (individual versus team sport).
Mechanisms affecting patterns of vector distribution among host individuals may influence the population and evolutionary dynamics of vectors, hosts and the parasites transmitted. We studied the role of different factors affecting the species composition and abundance of Culicoides found in nests of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We identified 1531 females and 2 males of 7 different Culicoides species in nests, with C. simulator being the most abundant species, followed by C. kibunensis, C. festivipennis, C. segnis, C. truncorum, C. pictipennis and C. circumscriptus. We conducted a medication×fumigation experiment randomly assigning bird's nests to different treatments, thereby generating groups of medicated and control pairs breeding in fumigated and control nests. Medicated pairs were injected with the anti-malarial drug Primaquine diluted in saline solution while control pairs were injected with saline solution. The fumigation treatment was carried out using insecticide solution or water for fumigated and control nests respectively. Brood size was the main factor associated with the abundance of biting midges probably because more nestlings may produce higher quantities of vector attractants. In addition, birds medicated against haemoparasites breeding in non-fumigated nests supported a higher abundance of C. festivipennis than the rest of the groups. Also, we found that the fumigation treatment reduced the abundance of engorged Culicoides in both medicated and control nests, thus indicating a reduction of feeding success produced by the insecticide. These results represent the first evidence for the role of different factors in affecting the Culicoides infracommunity in wild avian nests.
In this paper we describe a new version of a former paper-and-pencil standardized comprehension test called Test of Comprehension Processes (Vidal-Abarca, Gilabert, Martínez, & Sellés, 2007). The new version has been adapted to a computer-based environment based on the moving window technique. It can be used to assess comprehension strategies of students from fifth to tenth grades (11 to 16 years old). Comprehension strategies are registered on-line using reading times and visits to relevant sections of the text during the question-answering process. Data show that the computer-based version draws similar results to those provided by the paper-and-pencil version. In addition, we identify the particular strategies deployed during the question-answering process by high, medium and low comprehenders.
The aim of this study was to investigate chromosomal regions affecting gestation length in sows. An experimental F2 cross between Iberian and Meishan pig breeds was used for this purpose and we genotyped 119 markers covering the 18 porcine autosomal chromosomes. Within this context, we have developed a new empirical Bayes factor (BF) approach to compare between nested models, with and without the quantitative trait loci (QTL) effect, and after including the location of the QTL as an unknown parameter in the model. This empirical BF can be easily calculated from the output of a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling by averaging conditional densities at the null QTL effects. Linkage analyses were performed in each chromosome using an animal model to account for infinitesimal genetic effects. Initially, three QTL were detected at chromosomes 6, 8 and 11 although, after correcting for multiple testing, only the additive QTL located in cM 110 of chromosome 8 remained. For this QTL, the allelic effect of substitution of the Iberian allele increased gestation length in 0.521 days, with a highest posterior density region at 95% ranged between 0.121 and 0.972 days. Although future studies are necessary to confirm if detected QTL is relevant and segregating in commercial pig populations, a hot-spot on the genetic regulation of gestation length in pigs seems to be located in chromosome 8.
Nanocrystals embedded in an oxide matrix have been fabricated by annealing SiGeO films deposited by LPCVD. The composition of the oxide layers and its evolution after annealing as well as the presence and nature of nanocrystals in the films have been studied by several experimental techniques. The results are analyzed and discussed in terms of the main deposition parameters and the annealing temperature.
Group IV nanostructures have attracted a great deal of attention because of their potential applications in optoelectronics and nanodevices. Raman spectroscopy has been extensively used to characterize nanostructures since it provides non destructive information about their size, by the adequate modeling of the phonon confinement effect. However, the Raman spectrum is also sensitive to other factors, as stress and temperature, which can mix with the size effects borrowing the interpretation of the Raman spectrum. We present herein an analysis of the Raman spectra obtained for Si nanowires; the influence of the excitation conditions and the heat dissipation media are discussed in order to optimize the experimental conditions for reliable spectra acquisition and interpretation.
Multiple invasions (MIs) or infections, i.e. those by more than 1 parasite in the same erythrocyte, could be the result of parasite density or, alternatively, to parasite-related factors or host-related factors. According to the last possibility, to our knowledge, only 3 laboratory studies of malaria have found an increase in the occurrence of MIs when antibodies to parasite antigens were present. Therefore, we tested the possibility that MIs were influenced by the host immune status, using as model the malaria-like parasite Haemoproteus infecting blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Avian hosts infected with Haemoproteus were medicated with primaquine or injected with saline solution and the density of infection and the presence of MIs counted. Medication treatment reduced significantly the density of infection by Haemoproteus in females but not in males. For females, the presence of MIs was positively associated with both the density of infection and the immunoglobulin levels on each capture, but no association was found between the treatment and the presence of MIs. For males, the density of infection but not the immunoglobulin levels was positively associated with the presence of MIs. In addition, medicated males supported more MIs than controls. Our results represent the first line of evidence in the wild for a possible role of the host immune system promoting MIs.
Multiple infections, those by more than one parasite in the same erythrocyte, may be adaptive for the malarial parasite as a means to ensure fertility. Alternatively they may simply be the consequence of a non-adaptive process forcing several parasites to compete for resources in one host cell. Avian hosts infected with Haemoproteus were medicated with primaquine or injected with saline solution and the density of infection and number, maturity and sex of mature multiple infections counted. Multiple infections depend on density of infection, and maturity is attained rarely and usually by gametocytes of the same sex. The role of multiple infections for fertility insurance is not supported by these results.
The knowledge and interpretation of the practice of anatomy in the Renaissance have recently undergone a profound change. To a large extent, this is the result of new directions taken in the social and cultural history of medicine since the late 1970s. In the last decade, several important works have been published, which are undeniable evidence of this historiographical change. However, there has as yet been no attempt to produce a synthetic view of all this new work, in which there is not always agreement. Such a synthesis would undoubtedly produce an interpretation of Renaissance anatomy very different from the traditional one.