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Intellectual disability (ID) is defined as significantly subaverage intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior. For ∼40% of individuals, cause for disability remains unknown and these are categorized as idiopathic ID (IID). Various behavioral problems co-occur with ID and thus serotonergic neurotransmission, known to control emotion, mood and drive, has received immense attention. Synaptic serotonin (5-HT) level is primarily maintained by metabolizing enzyme MAOA and serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) which helps in reuptake of the neurotransmitter. Since functional genetic polymorphisms have a potency to affect activities of these proteins, in the present investigation polymorphisms in these genes (MAOA-u VNTR, rs6323, 5-HTTLPR and STIN2) have been analyzed in IID individuals associated with various behavioral problems.
Families (N=189) with IID probands were recruited following DSM-IV. After obtaining informed written consent for participation, peripheral blood was collected for isolation of genomic DNA used for PCR-based genotyping of target sites followed by family-based statistical analyses of data.
Significant association of MAOA rs6323 “T” allele with female IID (P=0.016) and a trend towards association with female IID patients exhibiting behavioral problems (P=0.046) was noticed. Non significant over transmission of the 5-HTTLPR “L” allele was also observed in female IID probands with behavioral problems (P=0.076). Synergistic epistatic interaction, with a sex-bias, was noticed between MAOA and 5-HTT (P< 0.05).
From the data obtained it could be summarized that serotonergic system may have some role in the etiology of behavioral problems of female IID individuals.
The problem of unsteady boundary layer flow of a nanofluid over a stretching surface is studied. Heat transfer due to melting is analyzed. Using a similarity transformation the governing coupled nonlinear partial differential equations of the model are reduced to a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations, and then solved numerically by a Runge-Kutta method with a shooting technique. Dual solutions are observed numerically and their characteristics are analyzed. The effects of the pertinent parameters such as the acceleration parameter, the Brownian motion parameter, the thermophoresis parameter, the Prandtl number and the Lewis number on the velocity, temperature and concentration fields are discussed. Also the effects of these parameters on the skin friction coefficient, the Nusselt number and the Sherwood number are analyzed through graphs. It is observed that the melting phenomenon has a significant effect on the flow, heat and mass transfer characteristics.
The Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata General Hospital, Kolkata, India witnessed a sudden increase in admissions of diarrhoea cases during the first 2 weeks of August 2015 following heavy rainfall. This prompted us to investigate the event. Cases were recruited through hospital-based surveillance along with the collection of socio-demographic characteristics and clinical profile using a structured questionnaire. Stool specimens were tested at bacteriological laboratory of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata. Admission of 3003 diarrhoea cases, clearly indicated occurrence of outbreak in Kolkata municipal area as it was more than two standard deviation of the mean number (911; s.d. = 111) of diarrhoea admissions during the same period in previous 7 years. Out of 164 recruited cases, 25% were under-5 children. Organisms were isolated from 80 (49%) stool specimens. Vibrio cholerae O1 was isolated from 50 patients. Twenty-eight patients had this organism as the sole pathogen. Among 14 infants, five had cholera. All V. cholerae O1 isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid, followed by co-trimoxazole (96%), streptomycin (92%), but sensitive to fluroquinolones. We confirmed the occurrence of a cholera outbreak in Kolkata during August 2015 due to V. cholerae O1 infection, where infants were affected.
A total of 45 strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolated from 10 different places in India where they were associated with cases of cholera between the years 2007 and 2008 were examined by molecular methods. With the help of phenotypic and genotypic tests the strains were confirmed to be O1 El Tor biotype strains with classical ctxB gene. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis by double – mismatch amplification mutation assay PCR showed 16 of these strains carried the ctxB-7 allele reported in Haitian strains. Sequencing of the ctxB gene in all the 45 strains revealed that in 16 strains the histidine at the 20th amino acid position had been replaced by asparagine and this single nucleotide polymorphism did not affect cholera toxin production as revealed by beads enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This study shows that the new ctxB gene sequence was circulating in different places in India. Seven representatives of these 45 strains analysed by pulsed – field gel electrophoresis showed four distinct Not I digested profiles showing that multiple clones were causing cholera in 2007 and 2008.
We report CdTe/CdS solar cell with CdTe layer grown by sputtering method. A controlled etch and anneal process on the sputter-grown CdTe films was performed to increase the average grain size of the film. The process involved dipping the CdTe films in a saturated solution of cadmium chloride (CdCl2) in methanol (2.08 gram in 100 ml) followed by a 30 minute annealing at 400 °C. We performed various experiments on this process by varying the dipping times, drying process and annealing times and analyzed the resultant films using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). We could see a clear increase in grain size from 200 nm to 5 μm after CdCl2 treatment. The process also increased the overall roughness of the sample so that more light is absorbed than reflected. We prepared solar cells using CdTe as p-type layer and CdS as n-type layer. The efficiency of the cell improved from 1.1% to 4.2% after air annealing. The effect of air-annealing is studied by means of quantum efficiency measurement.
The solar cells employed in low to medium (50 to 200 suns) concentration photovoltaic (CPV) are usually mono-crystalline silicon. Laser Groove Buried Contacts (LGBC) are preferred to screen printing in these cells due to the high currents generated in the system. In this paper, we report on the use of Coherence Correlation Interferometry (CCI) to accurately measure the width and depth of the laser-ablated grooves. In addition, the technique is also used to measure the surface roughness at the bottom of the trenches, since this can determine the success of the subsequent plating process, and at the top surface to optimize the debris control and obtain clean surfaces and well-shaped groove edges. The laser ablation process was also optimized to obtain the groove aspect ratio and surface quality required. Process parameters to be controlled include laser power, pulse energy, stage speed and focal length. The CCI technique is capable of providing all the groove and surface metrology required for this process optimization.
A water vapor barrier layer is presented that is deposited entirely at temperatures below ∼100oC. Our method, using hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD), is effective in reducing the issue of pinholes in single layers of silicon nitride (SiNx) made at such low substrate temperatures. We succeeded in depositing an all hot-wire simple three-layer structure consisting of two low-temperature SiNx layers with a polymer layer in between, exhibiting a water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) as low as 5*10-6 g/m2/day, determined at a temperature of 60°C and a relative humidity of 90%. This WVTR is low enough for organic and polymer devices. In a second experiment the robustness of the barrier layer is shown with respect to environmental dust.
Dreams have been known to mankind from time immemorial, while rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) has been objectively defined by characteristic electrophysiological signals since the mid twentieth century only. In the absence of better objective criteria, modern experimental sleep neurobiologists have objectively identified the dream state of a subject with REMS; thus, the dream state and REMS have often been used synonymously. There are reasons to believe that those states are not exclusively correlated to each other, rather they are independent phenomena that are often expressed simultaneously; however, neurobiological explanations are still lacking. In an attempt to better understand the relationship between them, we combined findings from objective science such as non-locality in physics with that of subjective science such as the phenomenon of consciousness. We explored the wisdom in the Upanishads, especially those instances where these ancient writings refer to sleep, dream, and states of consciousness, and attempted to offer an explanation based on modern experimental science. Our search led us towards a conceptual novelty in proposing the existence of an all-inclusive basal ground state (T or Turiya), which possibly equates to very slow waves in the electroencephalogram (EEG), during which waking, dream, non-REMS (NREMS), and REMS express apparently as independent phenomena, though overlapping to various degrees on many occasions. The proposed hypothesis and model, unlike several other earlier ones, is based on known and rational physiological principles, and hence is amenable to experimental verification.
New variants of Vibrio cholerae O1 have appeared in different time-frames in various endemic regions, especially in Asia and Africa. Sixty-nine strains of V. cholerae O1 isolated in Zambia between 1996 and 2004 were investigated by various genotypic techniques to determine the lineage of virulence signatures and clonality. All strains were positive for Vibrio seventh pandemic Islands (VSP)-I and VSP-II and repeat toxin (RTX) gene clusters attesting their El Tor lineage. Interestingly, strains isolated in recent times (2003–2004) were identified as an altered variant (El Tor biotype that harbours El Tor type rstR but produce classical ctxB) that replaced completely the progenitor El Tor strains prevalent in 1996–1997. Recent altered variant strains differed from prototype El Tor strains isolated earlier in that these strains lacked two ORFs, VC0493 and VC0498, in the VSP-II region. PFGE analysis revealed two major clonal lineages in the strains; cluster A represented the strains isolated before 2003 and cluster B the altered strains isolated in 2003–2004. Cluster A was closely related to prototype El Tor reference strain isolated in Bangladesh in 1971. Cluster B was found to be matched with Bangladeshi altered strains but was different from the hybrid strains isolated from Mozambique and Bangladesh. This report provides important information on the genesis of altered strains of V. cholerae O1 isolated in Zambia and emphasizes the need for further studies to follow the trends of evolutionary changes.
Growing concern about ideal body image among adolescent girls in developing countries has led them to follow dietary modifications. In general, the ideal body image is perceived as a ‘thin body’ and now tagged with the concept of being physically fit. The present study evaluates the prevalence of weight concerns, and subsequent eating behaviour modifications among a group of adolescent girls in Sikkim.
Pre-tested FFQ and dietary behaviour questionnaire were canvassed through direct interviews. Anthropometric measurements were taken following standard techniques. In the present study, dieting stands for skipping meals or avoiding certain food items.
A total of 577 girls were selected from several blocks of all four districts of Sikkim.
The results of the study show that concern with weight reduction is growing among adolescent girls, particularly among urban girls of affluent families. Girls from families with a higher economic status are about two times more likely to report dissatisfaction with their body weight (OR = 1·96; P ≤ 0·05) and these girls are five times more likely to report the need for dieting.
It is evident that weight concern and dissatisfaction over body weight are growing among adolescents. It can be safely argued that eating disorder, once a problem of the Western world, is now slowly creeping in among adolescents of the developing world as a consequence of rapid lifestyle changes over the past few decades.
Sixty-nine strains of Vibrio cholerae 01 isolated at different times were analysed to investigate if there were any differences among the 01 strains isolated before, during and after the advent of the O139 serogroup. Of the 69 01 strains examined, 68 belonged to the Ogawa serotype while one belonged to the Inaba serotype. With the exception of one strain all other strains of V. cholerae 01 belonged to the eltor biotype. A single O1 strain isolated before the emergence of the O139 serogroup could not be classified as either eltor or classical biotype because it was resistant to both classical and eltor specific bacteriophages. Marked variations in the susceptibility to antibiotics of V. cholerae O1 isolated during the different periods were observed. In addition, strains of V. cholerae isolated after the epidemic of serogroup O139 in Calcutta showed an expanding R-type with resistance to a variety of drugs as compared to the 01 strains isolated before the advent of the O139 serogroup. From this study, it is clear that there is a substantial mobility in genetic elements of V. cholerae Ol which necessitates a continuous monitoring to keep abreast of the changing traits of the etiologic agent of cholera.
The distribution and virulence of Vibrio cholerae serogroups other than O1 and O139 in India before, during and after the advent of O139 serogroup was investigated. A total of 68 strains belonging to 31 different ‘O’ serogroups were identified during the study period. With the exception of O53, there was no spatial or temporal clustering of any particular non-O1 non-O139 serogroup at any given place. Two of the 68 strains examined produced cholera toxin (CT) which could only be partially absorbed with anti-CT immunoglobulin G. Tissue culture assay revealed that some of the non-O1 non-O139 strains produced factors which evoked either a cell rounding or cell elongation response depending upon the medium used. This study indicates that serogroups other than O1 and O139 should also be continuously monitored.
Distribution of 9-O-acetylated sialic acids (9-O-AcSA) on Leishmania donovani has been previously reported. Considering their role in recognition, the differential distribution of sialic acids especially 9-O-acetylated sialic acids in avirulent (UR6) versus virulent (AG83 and GE1) promastigotes of Leishmania donovani and its role in entry into macrophages was explored. Fluorimetric-HPLC, fluorimetric determination and ELISA revealed 14-, 8- and 5-fold lower sialic acids in UR6 as compared to AG83. Interestingly, on UR6, flow cytometry indicated lower (α2→6)-linked sialoglycoproteins along with minimal 9-O-acetylated sialoglycoproteins by Scatchard analysis. Further, UR6 demonstrated a 9- and 14·5-fold lower infectivity and phagocytic index than AG83. Additionally, de-O-acetylation and de-sialylation of AG83 demonstrated a 3- and 1·5-fold reduced phagocytic index. The role of 9-O-AcSA in entry was further confirmed by pre-blocking the macrophage surface with a cocktail of sugars followed by microscopic quantification. The phagocytic index of AG83 exclusively through 9-O-AcSA was significantly high. Interestingly, AG83 produced higher metacyclic promastigotes containing increased 9-O-AcSA as compared to avirulent UR6 supporting its virulent nature. Taken together; our results conclusively demonstrate the increased presence of 9-O-acetylated sialic acid on promastigotes of virulent Leishmania donovani as compared to avirulent UR6 and their subsequent role in entry within macrophages.
Chymosin, an aspartyl proteinase, is used for curdling of milk and manufacture of cheese. We report the purification and the physicochemical properties of chymosin isolated from the abomasal tissue of buffalo calves. The enzyme preparation extracted from buffalo abomasal tissues could be purified 29–fold using anion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. The molecular weight of the purified enzyme was 35·6 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Partial N-terminal amino acid sequence of the first eight amino acid sequences of buffalo chymosin was identical to the first eight amino acid sequences of cattle chymosin. Buffalo chymosin exhibited a skewed bell-shaped stability profile as a function of temperature with maximum activity near 55 °C. Milk clotting activity decreased gradually as pH increased. The enzyme became completely inactive, however, above pH 7·0. The ratio of milk clotting to proteolytic activity was 3·03. When compared with cattle chymosin, there were subtle differences in the stability and relative proteolytic activity of buffalo chymosin.
The implementation of SiC based sensors and electronics for operation in chemically harsh, high temperature environments depends on understanding the SiO2/SiC interface in field effect devices. We have developed a technique to fabricate wedge polished samples (angle ∼ 1×10−4 rad) that provides access to the SiO2/SiC interface via a surface sensitive probe such as xray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Lateral scanning along the wedge is equivalent to depth profiling. Spatially resolved XPS images of the O 1s and Si 2p core levels were obtained of the interfacial region. Samples consist of device-quality thermally grown oxides on 4H-SiC single crystal substrates. The C 1s spectrum suggests the presence of a graphitic layer on the nominally bare SiC surface following thermal oxidation.
One hundred and six patients suffering from severe
dehydrating diarrhoea were studied of
whom 36 patients were positive for Vibrio cholerae.
Out of 36, 15 were positive for V. cholerae
O1, 10 for V. cholerae O139 and 11 for V.
cholerae non-O1 non-O139. O1 and O139 were
positive for the 301-bp ctxA amplicon and 471-bp
tcpA amplicon indicating that the strains
possessed toxigenic capability whereas no non-O1 non-O139
strain possessed ctxA or tcpA
genes. Post-admission severity of purging and amount of
ORS required were less in the
V. cholerae non-O1 non-O139 group
(P<0·05) compared to the V.
cholerae O1 and O139
groups. It appears from this study that a cholera-like
clinical condition can be caused in the
absence of CT as exemplified by strains of non-O1 non-O139.
Various kinds of phase transformations, viz., spinodal decomposition, omega transformation, precipitation reactions and martensitic transformation can be induced in ternary (Zr3Al) -Nb alloys in conditions far removed from equilibrium. Transformation sequences in alloys containing 3% niobium are described and rationalized in terms of some basic tendencies such as phase separation and chemical ordering in the β (bcc) phase and displacive omega and β to α (hcp) transformations. Microstructures of rapidly solidified alloy showed a distribution of cuboidal (D88 phase) particles in the β matrix. The periodic arrangement of these particles along the <100>β directions was indicative of a spinodal transformation which preceded their formation. The β → D88 transformation could be accomplished by the superimposition of three processes, namely, chemical ordering, lattice collapse akin to ω transformation and vacancy ordering. During isothermal aging the D88 phase transformed into the B82 phase. The observed lattice correspondence and transformation morphology suggested that the D88 to B82 structural change involved the replacement of structural vacancies in the former by zirconium atoms without any reconstitution of the lattice. The evolution of the equilibrium Zr3Al (L12 structure) phase during prolonged aging were also studied.
The phase petrology of two bodies of basic granulites occurring in association with supracrustal sequences within a dextral oblique-slip shear complex in the high-grade terrain of south India, have been studied. Some metabasites are characterized by garnet + clinopyroxene assemblages such as Grt + Cpx + PI ± Hbl ± Opx ± Qtz + Fe-Ti oxide(s) which are high-pressure granulites (garnet-clinopyroxene subfacies) transitional between the intermediate-pressure granulites (orthopyroxene-plagioclase subfacies) and eclogite. Mineralogical characteristics suggest that metamorphic conditions did not reach the eclogite facies but certainly approached that level. Close spatial association of the garnetiferous varieties with garnet-free assemblages (Opx + Hbl + Pl ± Cpx) and intimate juxtaposition of anhydrous and hydrous assemblages indicate a complex interplay of variable μH2O and bulk composition, especially αSiO2. Due to variable and low closure temperature of Fe-Mg exchange reactions between coexisting pyroxene and garnet, reliable estimation of peak temperatures during this near eclogite-facies metamorphism is problematic. A combination of a garnet-clinopyroxene barometer and various temperature estimates suggests P-T conditions of 875 ± 25°C and 8 ± 1 kbar for the Mettuppalaiyam samples and 900 ± 50°C and 14 ± 2 kbar for the Kanjamalai samples. Bulk rock chemical differences in terms of SiO2-content can account for the development of similar mineral assemblages along a near adiabatic metamorphic gradient between these two localities. These assemblages represent some of the highest grade granulite facies rocks in south India. The high-pressure granulites are not in situ samples of ancient lower continental crust, but low-pressure protoliths buried at depth. Textural features suggest that the high-pressure garnet-clinopyroxene subfacies rocks evolved from an amphibolitic assemblage by formation of garnet at the expense of hornblende and plagioclase and this high-pressure assemblage underwent an isothermal decompression indicating a clockwise P-T-t path resulting from crustal thickening and exhumation. A later isobaric cooling, possibly accompanying shearing and high H2O influx (aH2O≈0.78) gave rise to the coexisting orthopyroxeneplagioclase subfacies rocks (intermediate pressure granulites).