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Recent drilling successes on Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica demonstrate the viability of hot water drilling subglacial access holes to depths >2000 m. Having techniques to access deep subglacial environments reliably paves the way for subglacial lake exploration beneath the thick central West Antarctic Ice Sheet. An ideal candidate lake, overlain by ~2650 m of ice, identified by Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs), Chile, has led to collaboration with British Antarctic Survey to access Subglacial Lake CECs (SLCECs). To conform with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research code of conduct, which provides a guide to responsible scientific exploration and stewardship of these pristine systems, any access drilling must minimise all aspects of contamination and disturbance of the subglacial environment. To meet these challenges, along with thicker ice and 2000 m elevation, pumping and water treatment systems developed for the Subglacial Lake Ellsworth project, together with new diesel generators, additional water heating and longer drill hose, are currently being integrated with the BEAMISH hot water drill. A dedicated test season near SLCECs will commission the new clean hot water drill, with testing and validation of all clean operating procedures. A subsequent season will then access SLCECs cleanly.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is endemic in 70 countries and has been reported in 12 countries of Latin America, with over 90% of the cases reported in Brazil, where epidemics have occurred since 1980. The objective of this review is to describe the factors associated with the occurrence of VL epidemics in humans in urban areas. A systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA-P guidelines. The databases PubMed (by Medline), Cochrane Library, Embase, Amed, LILACS and grey literature [Google Scholar and handsearch of the database of the Information System for Notifiable Diseases (SINAN) of Brazil's Unified Health System] were used. The protocol was registered under PROSPERO (CRD42019128998). Climatic, environmental factors and indicators of urban social structure were described as influencing the outbreaks in the North and Northeast regions. Gender and age characteristics were related to a greater chance of developing VL in the Central-West, Northeast and Southeast regions. Vector indicators showed a positive correlation with the incidence of VL in studies in the Northeast region. In the Southeast and Northeast regions, studies revealed the presence of dogs with positive correlation with VL. Knowledge gaps remain regarding the contribution to the increase in the risk factors described in ecological approaches, as no analysis was performed at the individual level, and it is still necessary to discuss the influence of other associated elements in epidemic episodes in the spread of VL.
To investigate the shifts and factors associated with different scenarios resulting from the prevalence of child stunting and overweight in Brazilian municipalities.
This is an ecological study using municipality-level panel data of stunting and overweight prevalence and socio-economic characteristics from 2008 to 2014. The municipalities were classified according to the WHO-UNICEF prevalence thresholds for stunting and overweight and were categorised into four nutritional scenarios: no burden (prevalence of stunting < 20 % and overweight < 10 %), stunting burden (prevalence of stunting ≥ 20 % and overweight < 10 %), overweight burden (prevalence of stunting < 20 % and overweight ≥ 10 %) and double burden (prevalence of stunting ≥ 20 % and overweight ≥ 10 %).
Totally, 4443 Brazilian municipalities.
Aggregated data of children under 5 years old enrolled in the Brazil’s conditional cash transfer programme (Bolsa Família).
A mean reduction from 14·2 % to 12·7 % in the prevalence of stunting and an increase from 17·2 % to 18·4 % in the prevalence of overweight were observed. The predominant scenarios were overweight burden and double burden. The odds of both scenarios increased with higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and decreased with higher unemployment rates. Stunting and double burden decreased with higher expected years of schooling, and stunting burden increased with household crowding.
Our findings indicate an advanced nutrition transition stage in Brazil, associated mainly with municipal GDP per capita growth, which has contributed to increasing the burden of overweight alone or coexisting with stunting (double burden) among children in the most socio-economically vulnerable strata of the population.
Human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL) cases are important public health problems due to their zoonotic aspect, with high rates of morbidity and mortality in Brazil. The aim of this this study was to identify spatial patterns in both rates of HVL cases in Brazilian states during the period from 2006 to 2015. This is an ecological study, using geoprocessing tools to create choropleth maps, based on secondary data from open access platforms, to identify priority areas for control actions of the disease. Data were collected in 2017 and analysed according to the global and local Moran's I, using TerraView 4.2.2 software. Similar clusters were observed in neighbouring municipalities in thematic maps of HVL, suggesting spatial similarity in the distribution of the disease in humans mainly in the North and Northeast Regions, which concentrate the states with the highest rates of HVL. Heterogeneous spatial patterns were observed in the distribution of HVL, which show municipalities that need higher priority in the intensification of disease surveillance and control strategies.
Let K be a field of characteristic zero. In this paper, we study the polynomial identities of representations of Lie algebras, also called weak identities, or identities of pairs. These identities are determined by pairs of the form (A, L) where A is an associative enveloping algebra for the Lie algebra L. Then a weak identity of (A, L) (or an identity for the representation of L associated to A) is an associative polynomial which vanishes when evaluated on elements of L⊆ A. One of the most influential results in the area of PI algebras was the theory developed by Kemer. A crucial role in it was played by the construction of the Grassmann envelope of an associative algebra and the close relation of the identities of the algebra and its Grassmann envelope. Here we consider varieties of pairs. We prove that under some restrictions one can develop a theory similar to that of Kemer's in the study of identities of representations of Lie algebras. As a consequence, we establish that in the case when K is algebraically closed, if a variety of pairs does not contain pairs corresponding to representations of sl2(K), and if the variety is generated by a pair where the associative algebra is PI then it is soluble. As another consequence of the methods used to obtain the above result, and applying ideas from papers by Giambruno and Zaicev, we were able to construct a pair (A, L) such that its PI exponent (if it exists) cannot be an integer. We recall that the PI exponent exists and is an integer whenever A is an associative (a theorem by Giambruno and Zaicev), or a finite-dimensional Lie algebra (Zaicev). Gordienko also proved that the PI exponent exists and is an integer for finite-dimensional representations of Lie algebras.
Anthrax is a potential biological weapon and can be used in an air-borne or mail attack, such as in the attack in the United States in 2001. Planning for such an event requires the best available science. Since large-scale experiments are not feasible, mathematical modelling is a crucial tool to inform planning. The aim of this study is to systematically review and evaluate the approaches to mathematical modelling of inhalational anthrax attack to support public health decision making and response.
A systematic review of inhalational anthrax attack models was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria. The models were reviewed based on a set of defined criteria, including the inclusion of atmospheric dispersion component and capacity for real-time decision support.
Of 13 mathematical modelling studies of human inhalational anthrax attacks, there were six studies that took atmospheric dispersion of anthrax spores into account. Further, only two modelling studies had potential utility for real-time decision support, and only one model was validated using real data.
The limited modelling studies available use widely varying methods, assumptions, and data. Estimation of attack size using different models may be quite different, and is likely to be under-estimated by models which do not consider weather conditions. Validation with available data is crucial and may improve models. Further, there is a need for both complex models that can provide accurate atmospheric dispersion modelling, as well as for simpler modelling tools that provide real-time decision support for epidemic response.
Households in the USA spend about $70 billion annually on pets. Dogs, the most common pet, can be found in nearly half of American households. An important shadow price in the analysis of policies affecting human mortality is the value of statistical life (VSL), which is imputed from how people make decisions involving tradeoffs between small mortality risks and other goods. The value of statistical dog life (VSDL) is also an important, but until now unavailable, shadow price for use in regulation of such goods as pet foods and environmental toxins. Additionally, an estimate of the VSDL would have uses outside the regulatory process in valuing programs involving zooeyia, in setting tort awards for wrongful dog death, and in property divisions in divorce settlements where joint custody of dogs is not feasible. In order to estimate the VSDL, we conducted a contingent valuation of a national sample of dog owners that elicited willingness-to-pay for changes in mortality risk for pet dogs. Specifically, respondents were asked about willingness-to-pay for a vaccine that would reduce the risk of canine influenza. The design included both quantity (different magnitudes of risk reduction from the offered vaccine) and quality (differences in nature of death from the influenza) treatments as scope tests. It also included treatments involving spillover effects to other dogs and a priming question about disposable income. Based on the analysis and consideration of its assumptions, we recommend $10,000 as the VSDL.
Consanguineous marriages potentially play an important role in the transmission of β-thalassaemia in many communities. This study aimed to determine the rate and socio-demographic associations of consanguineous marriages and to assess the influence on the prevalence of β-thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. Three marriage registrars from each district of Sri Lanka were randomly selected to prospectively collect data on all couples who registered their marriage during a 6-month period starting 1st July 2009. Separately, the parents of patients with β-thalassaemia were interviewed to identify consanguinity. A total of 5255 marriages were recorded from 22 districts. The average age at marriage was 27.3 (±6.1) years for males and 24.1 (±5.7) years for females. A majority (71%) of marriages were ‘love’ marriages, except in the Moor community where 84% were ‘arranged’ marriages. Overall, the national consanguinity rate was 7.4%. It was significantly higher among ethnic Tamils (22.4%) compared with Sinhalese (3.8%) and Moors (3.2%) (p < 0.001). Consanguinity rates were also higher in ‘arranged’ as opposed to ‘love’ marriages (11.7% vs 5.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with β-thalassaemia, the overall consanguinity rate was 14.5%; it was highest among Tamils (44%) and lowest among Sinhalese (12%). Parental consanguinity among patients with β-thalassaemia was double the national average. Although consanguinity is not the major factor in the transmission of the disease in the country, emphasis should be given to this significant practice when conducting β-thalassaemia prevention and awareness campaigns, especially in high-prevalence communities.
The University of São Paulo Twin Panel (Painel USP de Gêmeos), based at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo, started formally in 2017. Our registry is new, but in only two years of formal existence, it comprises a volunteer sample of 4826 registered individuals (98% twins and 2% higher-order multiples), recruited at the University of São Paulo and by social media campaigns. Our main aim is to conduct and promote research with twins on psychological processes and behavior. The University of São Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in South America, and the Painel USP de Gêmeos has great potential for fostering research on twin-related issues from a psychological perspective in Brazil and South America.
Chagas Disease is a zoonosis caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Several high-resolution markers have subdivided T. cruzi taxon into at least seven lineages or Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) (TcI-TcVI and TcBat). Trypanosoma cruzi I is the most diverse and geographically widespread DTU. Recently a TcI genotype related to domestic cycles was proposed and named as TcIDOM. Herein, we combined traditional markers and housekeeping genes and applied a Multispecies Coalescent method to explore intra-TcI relationships, lineage boundaries and genetic diversity in a random set of isolates and DNA sequences retrieved from Genbank from different countries in the Americas. We found further evidence supporting TcIDOM as an independent and emerging genotype of TcI at least in Colombia and Venezuela. We also found evidence of high phylogenetic incongruence between parasite's gene trees (including introgression) and embedded species trees, and a lack of genetic structure among geography and hosts, illustrating the complex dynamics and epidemiology of TcI across the Americas. These findings provide novel insights into T. cruzi systematics and epidemiology and support the need to assess parasite diversity and lineage boundaries through hypothesis testing using different approaches to those traditionally employed, including the Bayesian Multispecies coalescent method.
As apex predators, sharks are known to play an important role in marine food webs. Detailed information on their diet and trophic level is however needed to make clear inferences about their role in the ecosystem. A total of 335 stomachs of smooth hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna zygaena, were obtained from commercial fishing vessels operating in the Ecuadorian Pacific between January and December 2004. A total of 53 prey items were found in the stomachs. According to the Index of Relative Importance (%IRI), cephalopods were the main prey (Dosidicus gigas, Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis, Ancistrocheirus lesueurii and Lolliguncula [Loliolopsis] diomedeae). Sphyrna zygaena was thus confirmed to be a teutophagous species. The estimated trophic level of S. zygaena was between 4.6 and 5.1 (mean ± SD: 4.7 ± 0.16; males: 4.7; females: 4.8). Levin's index (BA) was low (overall: 0.07; males: 0.08; females: 0.09), indicating a narrow trophic niche. We found that sharks <150 cm in total length consumed prey of coastal origin, whereas sharks ≥150 cm foraged in oceanic waters and near the continental shelf. The analyses indicate that S. zygaena is a specialized predator consuming mainly squids.
This study explores the role of corporate lawyers in the construction and operation of a key area of the Brazilian economy over a thirty-year period. It looks at three periods in the history of the Brazilian telecoms sector: the fall of state monopoly; global restructuring, neoliberalism, and privatization; and the recent resurgence of state activism. In the first two periods, lawyers worked to facilitate privatization and to create a lightly regulated market for telecoms services that attracted foreign capital. Things changed, however, when the industry was faced with new industrial and social policies. In this period, lawyers oscillated between resisting government intrusion and negotiating engagement with regulators. This sequence of events encompasses changes in the field of state power, hierarchies in the legal profession, and core-periphery relations, which invite new syntheses of existing theoretical traditions about law, lawyers, and capitalist development in emerging economies.
Coinfection with human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has become an emerging public health problem in several parts of the world, with high morbidity and mortality rates. A systematic review was carried out in the literature available in PubMed, Scielo and Lilacs related to HVL associated with HIV coinfection, seeking to analyze epidemiological, clinical and laboratory aspects. Of the 265 articles found, 15 articles were included in the qualitative analysis, which referred to the results of HVL treatment in patients coinfected with HIV. In the published articles between 2007 and 2015, 1171 cases of HVL/HIV coinfection were identified, 86% males, average age 34 years, liposomal amphotericin B was the most commonly used drug, cure rates 68 and 20% relapses and 19% deaths, five different countries, bone marrow was used in 10/15 manuscripts. HVL/HIV coinfection is a major challenge for public health, mainly due to the difficulty in establishing an accurate diagnosis, low response to treatment with high relapse rates and evolution to death. In addition, these two pathogens act concomitantly for the depletion of the immune system, contributing to worsening the clinical picture of these diseases, which requires effective surveillance and epidemiological control measures.
This study assessed the anthelmintic activity of plant-derived compounds against gastrointestinal nematodes of goats using the egg hatch and larval motility assays. The compounds tested were saponins (digitonin and aescin) and their respective sapogenins (aglycones), hecogenin acetate and flavonoids (catechin, hesperidin, isocordoin and a mixture of isocordoin and cordoin). Additionally, cytotoxicity of active substances was analysed on Vero cell through 3-4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl,2,5diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and propidium iodide (PI) tests. Significant reduction on the egg hatching (P < 0.05) was seen only in the treatments with aescin (99%/EC50 = 0.67 mg mL−1) and digitonin (45%). The compounds that reduced the larval motility (P < 0.05) were digitonin (EC50 = 0.03 mg mL−1 and EC90 = 0.49 mg mL−1) and the hecogenin acetate (75%). The other sapogenins showed low anthelmintic activity. All the flavonoids showed low ovicidal (4–12%) and larvicidal (10–19%) effects. The aescin and digitonin showed low toxicity in PI test (viable cells >90%). Nevertheless, higher cytotoxicity was observed in the MTT assay, with IC50 of 0.20 mg mL−1 (aescin) and 0.0074 mg mL−1 (digitonin). Aescin and digitonin have a pronounced in vitro anthelmintic effect and the glycone portion of these saponins plays an important role in this activity.
One of the future challenges to produce food in a Mars environment will be the optimization of resources through the potential use of the Martian substratum for growing crops as a part of bioregenerative food systems. In vitro plantlets from 65 potato genotypes were rooted in peat-pellets substratum and transplanted in pots filled with Mars-like soil from La Joya desert in Southern Peru. The Mars-like soil was characterized by extreme salinity (an electric conductivity of 19.3 and 52.6 dS m−1 under 1 : 1 and saturation extract of the soil solution, respectively) and plants grown in it were under sub-optimum physiological status indicated by average maximum stomatal conductance <50 mmol H2O m−2 s−1 even after irrigation. 40% of the genotypes survived and yielded (0.3–5.2 g tuber plant−1) where CIP.397099.4, CIP.396311.1 and CIP.390478.9 were targeted as promising materials with 9.3, 8.9 and 5.8% of fresh tuber yield in relation to the control conditions. A combination of appropriate genotypes and soil management will be crucial to withstand extreme salinity, a problem also important in agriculture on Earth that requires more detailed follow-up studies.