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Obesity is characterized by excess adipose tissue and chronic inflammation and promotes extensive changes that can compromise skeletal muscles’ structural and functional integrity. Obesity can seriously impact the force transmission region between the muscle and the tendon, the myotendinous junction (MTJ). The present study aimed to investigate the plasticity of muscle fibers and MTJ regions in high-fat diet-induced obesity in rat tibialis anterior (TA) and soleus (SO) muscles. Wistar rats were divided into control and obese groups (induced by a high-fat diet). The samples of TA and SO muscles were prepared for histochemical and ultrastructural analysis (sarcomeres and MTJ projection). In the muscle fiber, similar adaptations were observed between the muscles of the smaller fiber (types I and IIa) in the obesity results. The MTJ region demonstrated different adaptations between the analyzed muscles. The TA–MTJ region has shorter ultrastructures, while in the SO–MTJ region, the ultrastructures were larger. We conclude that obesity induced by a high-fat diet promotes similar adaptation in the muscle fibers; however, in the MTJ region, the sarcoplasmatic projections and adjacent sarcomere demonstrate different adaptations according to distinct muscle phenotypes.
Some would argue there is a global movement afoot to study “biopolitics.” More and more scholarly reports that help shape our understanding of the political domain from this perspective are filling the pages of research journals. This is an important era of increasing scholarly interest in the intersection of the political and biological worlds and the rapidly evolving analytical innovations available to explore this still under-explored domain. With the arrival of these new opportunities comes a new editorial team at Politics and the Life Sciences (PLS). It is a team that extends its appreciation to the Council of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences for the trust they put in it to steer the journal forward at this interesting and critical time. As well, it is a team that expresses its heartfelt gratitude to its immediate predecessors, Tony Wohlers, Maggie Kosal, and their editorial colleagues, for their determined leadership of the journal over the last three years and the easy transition they facilitated for the new team. They clearly laid a firm foundation for the next stage of the development of the journal.
Concha bullosa may be associated with paranasal sinus infections and nasal obstruction. Middle concha mucosa membranes have olfactory neurofibrils. This study investigated the impact of routinely used concha bullosa surgery techniques – crushing and lateral laminectomy – on nasal and olfactory functions.
Forty-three adult patients who had undergone surgery for a symptomatic concha bullosa completed the odour test, nasal obstruction visual analogue scale, 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test, and peak nasal inspiratory flow test, pre-operatively and three months post-operatively. The pre- and post-operative results within and between the two treatment groups were compared.
Intragroup comparison of mean pre- versus post-treatment changes revealed statistically significant findings for the nasal obstruction visual analogue scale, Sino-Nasal Outcome Test, peak nasal inspiratory flow and olfaction tests (all p < 0.05). However, there were no statistically significant changes when comparing the scores between the groups (intergroup comparison).
Lateral laminectomy and crushing in concha bullosa surgery have no negative effects on olfactory function. Concha bullosa surgery provides positive outcomes regarding nasal complaints in symptomatic patients.
The identification of young massive star clusters (YMCs) at high redshift is becoming a real fact. We present recent results from Hubble deep imaging and VLT/ MUSE - X-Shooter observations boosted by strong gravitational lensing. We report on two parsec-scale star-forming systems at z = 6.145 and 2.37 (>10 Gyrs of look back time) currently representing the best candidate high-z YMCs. All of this also implies that the search for globular cluster precursors has already begun.
Whether Geneva Conventions (GC) rights should apply to terrorists is a contentious question that has received little attention in public opinion research. Both personality and contextual factors may be important. We queried participants’ support for applying the GC to alleged terrorists, but first we measured participants’ authoritarianism and presented them with a scenario concerning an alleged terrorist. We manipulated whether (1) the scenario contained examples of GC rights and (2) the alleged terrorist’s religious affiliation was Muslim or non-Muslim. Support for applying the GC to alleged terrorists was high and unaffected by providing examples of GC provisions, but it was negatively related to authoritarianism. Support was reduced by priming with a Muslim terrorist, but only among participants exhibiting a behavioral marker for limited interhemispheric interaction — consistent-handedness. Consistent-handers in our sample expressed greater authoritarianism, suggesting that limited interhemispheric interaction promotes greater authoritarianism, which decreases support for applying the GC to alleged terrorists.
The association between harmful use of alcohol and HIV infection is well documented. To address this dual epidemic, the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) developed and implemented a multi-pronged approach primarily in Namibia and Botswana. We present the approach and preliminary results of the public health investigative and programmatic activities designed, initiated and supported by PEPFAR to combat the harmful use of alcohol and its association as a driver of HIV morbidity and mortality from 2008 to 2013.
PEPFAR supported comprehensive alcohol programming using a matrix model approach that combined the socio-ecological framework and the Alcohol Misuse Prevention and Intervention Continuum. This structure enabled seven component objectives: (1) to quantify harmful use of alcohol through rapid assessments; (2) to develop and evaluate alcohol-based interventions; (3) to promote screening programs and alcohol abuse resource services; (4) to support stakeholder networks; (5) to support policy interventions and (6) structural interventions; and (7) to institutionalize universal prevention messages.
Targeted PEPFAR support for alcohol activities resulted in several projects to address harmful alcohol use and HIV. Components are graphically conceptualized within the matrix model, demonstrating the intersections between primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities and individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors. Key initiative successes included leveraging alcohol harm prevention activities that enabled projects to be piloted in healthcare settings, schools, communities, and alcohol outlets. Primary challenges included the complexity of multi-sectorial programming, varying degrees of political will, and difficulties monitoring outcomes over the short duration of the program.
The Frontier Fields cluster MACS J0416.1-2403 with its extensive imaging and spectroscopic data sets provides a great opportunity to study the mass distribution of the galaxy cluster and members, the high-redshift Universe and cosmology. By taking advantage of the observations in the 16 Hubble Space Telescope imaging bands of the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) survey and our large spectroscopic follow-up program with the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), we have been able to identify and obtain the spectroscopic redshifts of 10 important strong lensing systems in this cluster. Furthermore, we have selected and modeled the mass distribution of ~200 candidate cluster members residing in the inner regions of the cluster. We present the results on the model-predicted central mass profile and subhalo population, which are detailed in Grillo et al. (2015). Work is underway to quantify the effects of line-of-sight structures. These are essential elements to make progress in our understanding of the dark matter distribution in massive galaxy clusters and of the distant Universe within the current Frontier Fields initiative and before the advent of the James Webb Space Telescope.
In the past few years gravitational lensing has allowed astrophysicists to make great progress in the understanding of the internal structure of early-type galaxies. By taking advantage of accurate photometric and spectroscopic measurements, the luminous and dark matter content of lens galaxies can in principle be disentangled (e.g., Grillo et al. 2008, 2009). SDSS J1538+5817 is an extraordinary strong lensing system composed of an elliptical galaxy and two equally-distant sources located, respectively, at redshifts 0.143 and 0.531 (Grillo et al., submitted to ApJ). The sources are lensed into two and four images with an almost complete Einstein ring, covering a rather large region on the lens plane. By using HST/ACS and WFPC2 imaging and NOT/ALFOSC spectroscopy, we have investigated the lens total mass distribution within one effective radius. Then, we have fitted the SDSS multicolor photometry of the galaxy with composite stellar population models to obtain its luminous mass. By combining lensing and photometric measurements, we have estimated the lens mass in terms of luminous and dark matter components and studied the global properties of the dark matter halo. The exceptional lensing configuration of this system has allowed us to conclude that the galaxy dark matter density distribution is shallower and more diffused than the luminous one and the former starts exceeding the latter at a distance of approximately 1.5 times the effective radius. Extending these results to a larger number of lenses would help us to decipher the processes that rule galaxy formation and evolution in the LCDM scenario.
Participants in this track were delighted to see a number of common
themes develop during our presentations and discussions throughout
the conference. Participants included faculty and graduate students
from a variety of subfields who design creative exercises to
actively engage their students in learning. With the wide range of
simulations that already exist and the growing body of literature
addressing the design of new simulations, faculty have significant
resources at their disposal to incorporate simulations into their
courses. Simulations are so readily adaptable they can accommodate
almost any course content or learning objective.
A growing body of evidence suggests that a variety of upper respiratory symptoms (URS) are associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of endoscopic erosive, and non-erosive, oesophagitis among patients complaining of persistent URS, in the absence of typical GORD symptoms, and to compare them with a comparison group of similar age. A group of 110 patients aged 18–75, presenting with persistent URS with no suspicion of GORD symptoms, underwent upper flexible endoscopy, with biopsy sampling for histology, and was compared with a group of 117 patients of similar age undergoing endoscopy for reasons other than GORD. Patients affected with upper airway disorders, such as posterior laryngitis, chronic sinusitis and vocal fold nodules, had a significantly higher prevalence of oesophagitis of varying degrees (31 per cent) compared to the comparison population(15.4 per cent) (p < 0.01). These data suggest that in many patients with chronic URS occult gastro-oesophageal diseases are present.
Carbon nitride films synthesised by magnetron sputtering at different substrate
temperatures have been studied using electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) during
annealing performed in situ in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The proportion of sp2
hybridised carbon slightly decreases initially during heating, presumably because of the removal
of defects in the structure, whilst it increases at higher temperatures when graphitisation tends to
take place, as confirmed by high resolution electron microscopy (HREM). Substantial amounts
of nitrogen (up to ~ 80% ) are removed following annealing at 1000 °C. A corresponding
decrease in the pre-peak of the nitrogen spectra suggests that pyridine-like N is released by
annealing. As this peak component decreases, a second peak, of weaker intensity, is becoming
apparent in the EELS spectra when the films are heated at temperatures above approximately
700 °C. The possibility has been suggested that this corresponds to N substituted for C in a
graphitic structure, with possibly also some N2 contributing to the peak.
In order to assess the effect of the HLA region on familiality
coeliac disease (CD), we carried out
a study on 121 CD index cases and 325 first degree relatives. The
transmission disequilibrium test
confirmed the importance of the HLA-DR3 haplotype in CD susceptibility.
However, the different
distortion found in affected children inheriting maternal or paternal
DR3 alleles suggested that the
sex of the parent might influence the risk conferred by this haplotype.
The increase in risk to siblings
of affected individuals relative to the risk in the general population
(λs) and the contribution of the
HLA genes to this clustering (λsHLA) have also been
estimated. Non-overlapping data from the
literature have been collected and combined with our sample to extend
such analysis. Then, the
percentage contribution of the HLA region to the development of CD among
siblings was 36·2%.
This result confirms that the HLA genotypes are an important
genetic background to CD
development but shows that additional susceptibility factors remain to
Striking progress in the development of II-VI semiconductor heterostructures, coupled with seminal advances in doping, has very recently led to the first demonstration of blue and blue/green diode lasers operating from cryogenic to room temperature. The active region in these devices was based on the (Zn, Cd)Se/ZnSe multiple quantum wells (MQW) which had earlier been actively studied as a candidate for laser medium by optical pumping techniques. We report on the performance of such MQW diode lasers with emphasis on structural versatility in terms of preparation on both p-type and n-type GaAs substrates, and where sulfur is or is not incorporated for blue/green color lasing. In this work we have obtained pulsed, high power, high quantum efficiency laser emission up to near room temperature conditions. Efficient LED devices are described which operate in the blue (494nm) at room temperature.
ZnSe/ZnCdSe diode structures were grown on (In, Ga)As buffer layers by molecular beam epitaxy. Lattice distortions and defect distributions in buffer layers and diode structures were examined by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Diode structrues with low dislocation densities were obtained by the growth on tetragonally distorted In0.043 Ga0.957 buffer layers, the lattice spacing of which is slightly smaller than that of ZnSe.
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