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The Lower–Middle Ordovician (Ibexian, Whiterockian) sedimentary rocks exposed at Rancho Las Norias includes the informally named Las Norias formation, which consists of an intercalation of carbonate and clastic sediments with abundant marine fauna. These deposits occur as the most austral sedimentary rocks of Ordovician age for Laurentia, providing a critical link to understand the distribution of Ordovician marine faunas of North America. An investigation of the gastropod fauna from the upper portion of the Las Norias formation, Sonora, Mexico, is undertaken for the first time. The gastropod assemblage includes Maclurites acuminatus, ?Monitorella sp., Lecanospira sp., Malayaspira aff. M. rugosa, Lophospira perangulata, and Hormotoma? sp. This assemblage indicates a paleogeographic relationship with Laurentia, including the USA (Nevada), Canada (British Columbia, Newfoundland), Greenland, and the Argentine Precordillera.
The Caymanostellidae is a family of rarely encountered wood-dwelling deep-sea sea-stars, with only six species, in two genera, described to date. During the COBERPES 5 expedition on board the RV ‘Justo Sierra’, off Tabasco, Gulf of Mexico in 2013, 12 specimens were recovered from a single piece of sunken wood. Herein we describe a new genus and species of caymanostellid, Crinitostella laguardai gen. nov., sp. nov. This species represents the shallowest known caymanostellid (418–427 m depth), and the first known occurrence of the Caymanostellidae from the Gulf of Mexico. The family Caymanostellidae displays affinities with several groups, such as Asterinidae and Korethrasteridae, making it difficult to infer its phylogenetic position evidenced by the myriad of contrasting phylogenetic hypotheses proposed. In an attempt to shed some light on the phylogenetic relationships of the family, sequences of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of the new species were generated and combined with published data. As previously suggested, caymanostellids seem to be part of valvatacean polytomy rather than velatids.
By means of a counter-example, we show that the Reilly theorem for the upper bound of the first non-trivial eigenvalue of the Laplace operator of a compact submanifold of Euclidean space (Reilly, 1977, Comment. Mat. Helvetici, 52, 525–533) does not work for a (codimension ⩾2) compact spacelike submanifold of Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime. In the search of an alternative result, it should be noted that the original technique in (Reilly, 1977, Comment. Mat. Helvetici, 52, 525–533) is not applicable for a compact spacelike submanifold of Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime. In this paper, a new technique, based on an integral formula on a compact spacelike section of the light cone in Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime is developed. The technique is genuine in our setting, that is, it cannot be extended to another semi-Euclidean spaces of higher index. As a consequence, a family of upper bounds for the first eigenvalue of the Laplace operator of a compact spacelike submanifold of Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime is obtained. The equality for one of these inequalities is geometrically characterized. Indeed, the eigenvalue achieves one of these upper bounds if and only if the compact spacelike submanifold lies minimally in a hypersphere of certain spacelike hyperplane. On the way, the Reilly original result is reproved if a compact submanifold of a Euclidean space is naturally seen as a compact spacelike submanifold of Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime through a spacelike hyperplane.
Globally, rock art is one of the most widely distributed manifestations of past human activity. Previous research, however, has tended to focus on the art rather than artists. Understanding which members of society participated in creating such art is crucial to interpreting its social implications and that of the sites at which it is found. This article presents the first application of a method—palaeodermatoglyphics—for the estimation of the sex and age of two later prehistoric individuals who left their fingerprints at the Los Machos rockshelter in southern Iberia. The method has the potential to illuminate the complex socio-cultural dimensions of rock art sites worldwide.
Male gamete chemotaxis towards the female gamete is a general strategy to facilitate the sexual reproduction in many marine eukaryotes. Biochemical studies of chemoattractants for male gametes of brown algae have advanced in the 1970s and 1980s, but the molecular mechanism of male gamete responses to the attractants remains elusive. In sea urchin, a K+ channel called the tetraKCNG channel plays a fundamental role in sperm chemotaxis and inhibition of K+ efflux through this channel by high K+ seawater blocks almost all cell responses to the chemoattractant. This signalling mechanism could be conserved in marine invertebrates as tetraKCNG channels are conserved in the marine invertebrates that exhibit sperm chemotaxis. We confirmed that high K+ seawater also inhibited sperm chemotaxis in ascidian, Ciona intestinalis (robusta), in this study. Conversely, the male gamete chemotaxis towards the female gamete of a brown alga, Mutimo cylindricus, was preserved even in high K+ seawater. This result indicates that none of the K+ channels is essential for male gamete chemotaxis in the brown alga, suggesting that the signalling mechanism for chemotaxis in this brown alga is quite different from that of marine invertebrates. Correlated to this result, we revealed that the channels previously proposed as homologues of tetraKCNG in brown algae have a distinct domain composition from that of the tetraKCNG. Namely, one of them possesses two repeats of the six transmembrane segments (diKCNG) instead of four. The structural analysis suggests that diKCNG is a cyclic nucleotide-modulated and/or voltage-gated K+ channel.
The ability to interface electronic materials with the peripheral nervous system is required for stimulation and monitoring of neural signals. Thus, the design and engineering of robust neural interfaces that maintain material-tissue contact in the presence of material or tissue micromotion offer the potential to conduct novel measurements and develop future therapies that require chronic interface with the peripheral nervous system. However, such remains an open challenge given the constraints of existing materials sets and manufacturing approaches for design and fabrication of neural interfaces. Here, we investigated the potential to leverage a rapid prototyping approach for the design and fabrication of nerve cuffs that contain supporting features to mechanically stabilize the interaction between cuff electrodes and peripheral nerve. A hybrid 3D printing and robotic-embedding (i.e., pick-and-place) system was used to design and fabricate silicone nerve cuffs (800 µm diameter) containing conforming platinum (Pt) electrodes. We demonstrate that the electrical impedance of the cuff electrodes can be reduced by deposition of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on cuff electrodes via a post-processing electropolymerization technique. The computer-aided design and manufacturing approach was also used to design and integrate supporting features to the cuff that mechanically stabilize the interface between the cuff electrodes and the peripheral nerve. Both ‘self-locking’ and suture-assisted locking mechanisms are demonstrated based on the principle of making geometric alterations to the cuff opening via 3D printing. Ultimately, this work shows 3D printing offers considerable opportunity to integrate supporting features, and potentially even novel electronic materials, into nerve cuffs that can support the design and engineering of next generation neural interfaces.
By means of several counterexamples, the impossibility to obtain an analogue of the Chen lower estimation for the total mean curvature of any compact submanifold in Euclidean space for the case of compact space-like submanifolds in Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime is shown. However, a lower estimation for the total mean curvature of a four-dimensional compact space-like submanifold that factors through the light cone of six-dimensional Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime is proved by using a technique completely different from Chen's original one. Moreover, the equality characterizes the totally umbilical four-dimensional round spheres in Lorentz–Minkowski spacetime. Finally, three applications are given. Among them, an extrinsic upper bound for the first non-trivial eigenvalue of the Laplacian of the induced metric on a four-dimensional compact space-like submanifold that factors through the light cone is proved.
Drawing upon a vast array of primary sources, this article focuses on a key period of modern Spanish history: November 1918 – April 1919. In the aftermath of the First World War and spurred on by the Allied victory, demands by Catalonia's political elites for greater autonomy seized the country's agenda. However, the political tussle between the centre and the Catalan elites ended a few months later with their mutual defeat. The upsurge of labour agitation and the hopes of the proletariat generated by the Bolshevik Revolution combined with bourgeois fear resulted in the question of national identity being superseded by bitter class conflict. This article conveys the thesis that these crucial months crystallized the organic crisis of the ruling liberal regime. Indeed, the outcome of these events proved its fragile foundations, dashed hopes for a reformist and negotiated solution, and constituted a dress rehearsal for the military coup of 1923, a clear example of the reactionary backlash which swept across Europe in the interwar years.
Human milk contains bioactive compounds that confer a protective role against gastrointestinal infections. In order to find supplements for an infant formula able to mimic these benefits of breast-feeding, two different concepts were tested. The products consisted of the following: (1) a Bifidobacterium breve- and Streptococcus thermophilus-fermented formula and (2) a combination of short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides/long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides with pectin-derived acidic oligosaccharides. A rotavirus infection suckling rat model was used to evaluate improvements in the infectious process and in the immune response of supplemented animals. Both nutritional concepts caused amelioration of the clinical symptoms, even though this was sometimes hidden by softer stool consistency in the supplemented groups. Both products also showed certain modulation of immune response, which seemed to be enhanced earlier and was accompanied by a faster resolution of the process. The viral shedding and the in vitro blocking assay suggest that these products are able to bind the viral particles, which can result in a milder infection. In conclusion, both concepts evaluated in this study showed interesting protective properties against rotavirus infection, which deserve to be investigated further.
Networks of protected areas are one of the main strategies used to address the biodiversity crisis. These should encompass as many species and ecosystems as possible, particularly in territories with high biological diversity, such as the Spanish arid zones. We produce a priority ranking of the arid zones of south-east Spain according to the rarity and richness of their characteristic flora and the level of endangerment. The resulting hierarchy shows that optimal zones for the preservation of the flora are located outside the network of protected areas. In particular, it is important to extend the network and encourage the creation of microreserves in the depression of the River Guadiana Menor (Granada), where there is least protection. This river valley is a particularly important arid site because of its unique flora and fauna, and palaeontological and archaeological findings.
The solar absorptance αs of nanostructured selective surface (NSS) for solar thermal energy is improved. The NSS are prepared by AC electrochemical impregnation of metal inclusions (MI) into porous anodized aluminum oxide (AAO). The dependence of the NSS performance with composition depth profile and MI is studied by numeric simulations based in a gradient index model and effective medium theory. The results are compared with experimental NSS prepared varying three control parameters and MI (Ni, Cu, Ag). The αs is improved to > 85% (keeping thermal emittance εT relatively low) for Ni MI, mainly by increasing MI content. Increasing AAO thickness or MI molecular weight (for a given experimental composition profile) also improves the performance. For Ag the αs was further improved to 90%.
On any spacelike surface in a light cone of four-dimensional Lorentz–Minkowski space, a distinguished smooth function is considered. We show how both extrinsic and intrinsic geometry of such a surface are codified by this function. The existence of a local maximum is assumed to decide when the spacelike surface must be totally umbilical, deriving a Liebmann-type result. Two remarkable families of examples of spacelike surfaces in a light cone are explicitly constructed. Finally, several results that involve the first eigenvalue of the Laplace operator of a compact spacelike surface in a light cone are obtained.
The possibility that facial expressions of emotion change the affective valence of faces through associative learning was explored using facial electromyography (EMG). In Experiment 1, EMG activity was registered while the participants (N = 57) viewed sequences of neutral faces (Stimulus 1 or S1) changing to either a happy or an angry expression (Stimulus 2 or S2). As a consequence of learning, participants who showed patterning of facial responses in the presence of angry and happy faces, that is, higher Corrugator Supercilii (CS) activity in the presence of angry faces and higher Zygomaticus Major (ZM) activity in the presence of happy faces, showed also a similar pattern when viewing the corresponding S1 faces. Explicit evaluations made by an independent sample of participants (Experiment 2) showed that evaluation of S1 faces was changed according to the emotional expression with which they had been associated. These results are consistent with an interpretation of rapid facial reactions to faces as affective responses that reflect the valence of the stimulus and that are sensitive to learned changes in the affective meaning of faces.
The results of two studies on the relationship between evaluations of trustworthiness, valence and arousal of faces are reported. In Experiment 1, valence and trustworthiness judgments of faces were positively correlated, while arousal was negatively correlated with both trustworthiness and valence. In Experiment 2, learning about faces based on their emotional expression and the extent to which this learning is influenced by perceived trustworthiness was investigated. Neutral faces of different models differing in trustworthiness were repeatedly associated with happy or with angry expressions and the participants were asked to categorize each neutral face as belonging to a “friend” or to an “enemy” based on these associations. Four pairing conditions were defined in terms of the congruency between trustworthiness level and expression: Trustworthy-congruent, trustworthy-incongruent, untrustworthy-congruent and untrustworthy-incongruent. Categorization accuracy during the learning phase and face evaluation after learning were measured. During learning, participants learned to categorize with similar efficiency trustworthy and untrustworthy faces as friends or enemies and thus no effects of congruency were found. In the evaluation phase, faces of enemies were rated as more negative and arousing than those of friends, thus showing that learning was effective to change the affective value of the faces. However, faces of untrustworthy models were still judged on average more negative and arousing than those of trustworthy ones. In conclusion, although face trustworthiness did not influence learning of associations between faces and positive or negative social information it did have a significant influence on face evaluation that was manifest even after that learning.
The present study analysed the effects of the flavanol ( − )-epicatechin in rats after chronic inhibition of NO synthesis with NG-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), at doses equivalent to those achieved in the studies involving human subjects. Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: (1) control-vehicle, (2) l-NAME, (3) l-NAME-epicatechin 2 (l-NAME-Epi 2) and (4) l-NAME-epicatechin 10 (l-NAME-Epi 10). Rats were daily given by oral administration for 4 weeks: vehicle, ( − )-epicatechin 2 or 10 mg/kg. Animals in the l-NAME groups daily received l-NAME 75 mg/100 ml in drinking-water. The evolution in systolic blood pressure and heart rate, and morphological and plasma variables, proteinuria, vascular superoxide, reactivity and protein expression at the end of the experiment were analysed. Chronic ( − )-epicatechin treatment did not modify the development of hypertension and only weakly affected the endothelial dysfunction induced by l-NAME but prevented the cardiac hypertrophy, the renal parenchyma and vascular lesions and proteinuria, and blunted the prostanoid-mediated enhanced endothelium-dependent vasoconstrictor responses and the cyclo-oxygenase-2 and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) up-regulation. Furthermore, ( − )-epicatechin also increased Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and prevented the l-NAME-induced increase in systemic (plasma malonyldialdehyde and urinary 8-iso-PGF2α) and vascular (dihydroethidium staining, NADPH oxidase activity and p22phox up-regulation) oxidative stress, proinflammatory status (intercellular adhesion molecule-1, IL-1β and TNFα up-regulation) and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation. The present study shows for the first time that chronic oral administration of ( − )-epicatechin does not improve hypertension but reduced pro-atherogenic pathways such as oxidative stress and proinflammatory status of the vascular wall induced by blockade of NO production.
Previously we established that a cocoa-enriched diet in young rats reduces specific antibody production and the T helper (Th) lymphocyte proportion in lymphoid tissues. The aim of the present study was to ascertain the modulatory ability of a cocoa flavonoid-enriched diet on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which is mediated by anti-collagen autoantibody response and Th lymphocyte activation. Female Louvain (LOU) rats were fed with a cocoa-enriched diet, beginning 2 weeks before CIA induction. Hind-paw swelling and serum cytokine and anti-collagen antibody concentrations were determined. Anti-collagen antibody-secreting cell counts and lymphocyte subset proportions were established in inguinal lymph nodes (ILN). Reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) and TNFα produced by peritoneal macrophages were determined. Although arthritic cocoa-fed rats showed a similar hind-paw swelling time course as the arthritic animals fed a standard diet, the cocoa intake was able to decrease specific IgG2a, IgG2b and IgG2c titres. Moreover, cocoa intake in CIA rats reduced ROS production, TNFα and NO release from peritoneal macrophages, and decreased the Th:cytotoxic T cell ratio in ILN. In conclusion, a cocoa flavonoid-enriched diet in LOU rats with CIA produced no effect on hind-paw swelling but was able to modulate the specific antibody response and also the Th lymphocyte proportion, as well as the synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators from peritoneal macrophages. Therefore, a cocoa-enriched diet could be a good adjuvant therapy in disorders with oxidative stress or autoimmune pathogenesis.
Cocoa and its flavonoids have potential anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in acute inflammation models in vivo. The aim of the present study was to ascertain the effects of two cocoa-enriched diets on adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rats, considering not only clinical and biochemical inflammatory indices, but also antibody response and lymphocyte composition. Female Wistar rats were fed with a 5 or 10 % cocoa-enriched diet beginning 2 weeks before arthritis induction and until the end of the study. AA was induced by an intradermal injection of heat-killed Mycobacterium butyricum suspension. The hind-paw swelling (plethysmometry), serum anti-mycobacterial antibody concentration (ELISA), blood and inguinal lymph node lymphocyte subset percentage (flow cytometry), and IL-2, interferon γ and PGE2 released from splenocytes (ELISA) were assessed. Although the cocoa diets had no significant effect on hind-paw swelling, a tendency to reduce it was observed at the end of the study. Cocoa-enriched diets were able to decrease the serum anti-mycobacterial antibody concentration and the splenocyte PGE2 production, as well as the proportion of T-helper (Th) lymphocytes in blood and regional lymph nodes, which probably includes cells responsible for the arthritic process. The cocoa diets prevented a decrease in the proportion of regulatory T-cells in blood and a disequilibrium between inguinal lymph node natural killer (NK) CD8+ and NK CD8− subsets. In conclusion, the cocoa-enriched diets during AA were not able to significantly decrease joint inflammation but modified Th-cell proportions and prevented specific antibody synthesis.
The stabilisation and longevity of Franco's regime can be explained by the interpenetration of society and the institutions of the ‘New State’ in three overlapping areas: firstly, in the sphere of the shared culture of the community of civil war victors; secondly, through repression, based on the decisive collaboration of those supporting Francoism, which cut short any possible opposition; thirdly, in the socio-economic sphere, where those making up the groups supporting the ‘New State’ would see their personal interests fulfilled. At the same time, the defeated would be ensnared in a maze of misery and silence, abandoning any political concerns and concentrating instead on survival. Accordingly, the regime proved able to win support from a broad range of social groups while also eliminating any signs of opposition.
We studied the correlation between the spatial frequency of complex stimuli and neuronal activity in the monkey inferotemporal (IT) cortex while performing a task that required visual recognition. Single-cell activity was recorded from the right IT cortex. The frequency components of the images used as stimuli were analyzed by using a fast Fourier transform, and a modulus was obtained for 40 spatial frequency ranges from 0.3 to 11.1 cycles/deg. We recorded 82 cells showing statistically significant responses (analysis of variance, P < 0.05) to at least one of the images used as a stimulus. Seventy-eight percent of these cells (n = 64) showed significant responses to at least three images, and in two thirds of them (n = 42), we found a statistically significant correlation (P < 0.05) between cell response and the modulus amplitude of at least one frequency range present in the images. Our results suggest that information about spatial frequency of the visual images is present in the IT cortex.
The computed tomogram angiography (CTA) ‘spot sign’ describes foci of intralesional enhancement associated with hematoma expansion in primary intracerebral hemorrhage patients. A consistent radiological definition is required for two proposed recombinant Factor VIIa trials planning patient dichotomization according to ‘spot sign’ presence or absence. We propose radiological criteria for diagnosis of the CTA ‘spot sign’ and describe different morphological patterns.
Material and Methods:
A prospective cohort of 36 consecutive patients presenting with primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) were enrolled in a multicenter collaborative study, and have been included for the present analysis. Three reviewers analyzed the CTA studies in a blinded protocol. Analysis of specific ICH and ‘spot sign’ features was performed including prevalence, number, size, location, morphology and Hounsfield unit density.
Twelve of thirty-six patients (33%) demonstrated a total of 19 enhancing foci consistent with the CTA ‘spot sign’. Mean maximal axial ‘spot sign’ dimension was 3.7±2.2 mm and mean density was 216±57.7 HU. No significant differences in age or blood pressure (p=0.7), glucose (p=0.9), INR/PTT (p=0.3 and 0.4) or hematoma location (p=0.3) were demonstrated between patients with or without the ‘spot sign’. Consensus definition and classification criteria for the CTA ‘spot sign’ are proposed.
The ‘spot sign’ is defined as spot-like and/or serpiginous foci of enhancement, within the margin of a parenchymal hematoma without connection to outside vessels. The ‘spot sign’ is greater than 1.5 mm in maximal dimension and has a Hounsfield unit density at least double that of background hematoma density.