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OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Recent in vitro evidence suggests that diverse parasite protein families called RIFINs and STEVORs are displayed on the surface of infected red blood cells and may have a role in severe malaria, but they remain sparsely studied in natural infections. We measured the RNA expression of these antigens in Malian children with severe or mild malaria illness. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We collected blood samples from Malian children aged six months to five years, including 14 with cerebral malaria, 10 with severe malarial anemia, and demographic-matched controls with mild, uncomplicated malaria. We extracted total RNA from each patient and used a custom capture array to selectively enrich Plasmodium falciparum parasite RNA. We then performed Illumina next-generation RNA sequencing and reconstructed parasite transcriptomes using reference-free de novo assembly. We identified RNA encoding RIFINs and STEVORs using an in-house classifier, then measured the diversity and abundance of gene expression for each infection. Expression diversity was defined as the number of unique variants transcribed. Expression abundance was calculated as transcripts per million (TPM). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Cerebral malaria cases, but not severe malarial anemia cases, had higher diversity and abundance of RIFIN expression compared to mild infections. Type A RIFINs predominated over Type B RIFINs, and the same two RIFINs were predominantly expressed in all disease phenotypes. We anticipate that predominantly expressed RIFINs share high sequence homology with variants previously shown to bind blood antigens or immune inhibitory receptors. STEVOR expression was also higher in cerebral malaria compared to mild malaria, but STEVOR transcripts were sparse overall. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Elevated RIFIN expression in cerebral malaria over mild malaria supports a role for these antigens in pathogenesis. Severe malarial anemia may progress through a different pathogenic mechanism. Predominantly expressed RIFIN variants may be promising targets for vaccines and therapeutics to protect children against cerebral malaria.
Vena caval filters remain as a useful tool in patients with deep vein thrombosis and contraindications to anticoagulation. Although they are rarely used in paediatric patients, they have been shown to be safe and effective when used in the inferior vena cava.
In this case report, we describe the off-label use of a retrievable vena caval filter in the superior vena cava in an adolescent with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with extensive thrombosis of the right upper neck veins as a means to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism.
Bustards comprise a highly threatened family of birds and, being relatively fast, heavy fliers with very limited frontal visual fields, are particularly susceptible to mortality at powerlines. These infrastructures can also displace them from immediately adjacent habitat and act as barriers, fragmenting their ranges. With geographically ever wider energy transmission and distribution grids, the powerline threat to bustards is constantly growing. Reviewing the published and unpublished literature up to January 2021, we found 2,774 records of bustard collision with powerlines, involving 14 species. Some studies associate powerline collisions with population declines. To avoid mortalities, the most effective solution is to bury the lines; otherwise they should be either routed away from bustard-frequented areas, or made redundant by local energy generation. When possible, new lines should run parallel to existing structures and wires should preferably be as low and thick as possible, with minimal conductor obstruction of vertical airspace, although it should be noted that these measures require additional testing. A review of studies finds limited evidence that ‘bird flight diverters’ (BFDs; devices fitted to wires to induce evasive action) achieve significant reductions in mortality for some bustard species. Nevertheless, dynamic BFDs are preferable to static ones as they are thought to perform more effectively. Rigorous evaluation of powerline mortalities, and effectiveness of mitigation measures, need systematic carcass surveys and bias corrections. Whenever feasible, assessments of displacement and barrier effects should be undertaken. Following best practice guidelines proposed with this review paper to monitor impacts and mitigation could help build a reliable body of evidence on best ways to prevent bustard mortality at powerlines. Research should focus on validating mitigation measures and quantifying, particularly for threatened bustards, the population effects of powerline grids at the national scale, to account for cumulative impacts on bustards and establish an equitable basis for compensation measures.
Describe the process of development and implementation of Health at the Table – a food literacy curriculum for primary school aged children.
Through a community-based research process, Health at the Table development and implementation took place in four stages: exploratory study, production, implementation and monitoring.
Primary schools of Sintra’s municipality, Portugal.
Children (6–10 years), teachers, school staff and children’s legal guardians of three primary schools during the pilot project and eight primary schools in the second year.
During the needs assessment phase, 99·1 % (n 341) of the children’s legal guardians, 100 % (n 34) of the teachers and 100 % (n 19) of the school staff considered that the school plays an important or very important role in children’s food literacy (stage 1). During the pilot project, a manual with sixty session plans was developed (stage 2). In the second year, Health at the Table was implemented by seventy-two trained teachers during one school year (stage 3). Most of the teachers agreed that the curriculum was appropriate (69·2 %) and that children developed health, wellness/well-being and environmental skills (83·1 %). Most of the children said they had learned about healthy eating (86·3 %) and claimed to eat healthier since the Health at the Table implementation (58·9 %) (stage 4).
Health at the Table is a food literacy curriculum that can be reproduced in similar contexts in a sustainable way. The need to combine educational strategies with a healthy school food environment is reinforced to increase effectiveness in tackling childhood obesity.
Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation is a less invasive procedure to treat right outflow tract dysfunction related to surgical procedures such as repair of Tetralogy of Fallot. Despite the lower risks, complications have been reported, namely embolisation of the pre-stent. We report a case of a 16-year-old boy, whose procedure was complicated by embolisation of the pre-stents and the strategy used to reimplant them, prior to the successful implantation of a pulmonary valve.
Bycatch is one of the main threats to marine biodiversity, affecting ocean ecosystems at a worldwide scale. The main focus of bycatch studies has been on the impact of larger vessels, with few studies assessing the impact of artisanal fisheries. Moreover, bycatch studies are often limited to a small number of marine regions, and significant gaps still exist in our knowledge of the spatial and temporal patterns of seabird bycatch. Here we present a multi-approach method to accurately quantify seabird bycatch driven by small- and medium-sized fishing fleets operating in a high priority area for seabird conservation on the Portuguese mainland. Results of three mitigation measures to reduce seabird bycatch on fishing gear where seabird bycatch is most likely to occur were also tested: high contrast panels in bottom gillnets, black hooks in demersal longlines and a bird scaring device in purse seines. The efficacy, acceptance, and economic viability were tested for each mitigation measure. Sixty-seven individuals of seven seabird species were bycaught during 295 monitored fishing trips between 2015 and 2018. Bycatch occurred mainly in demersal longlines (0.07 birds fishing event-1), followed by purse seines (0.02 birds fishing event-1) and bottom gillnets (0.01 birds fishing event-1). Nevertheless, the bird scaring device caused birds to interact less with the vessel (the presence of gulls was reduced by 11%), thus decreasing the likelihood of bycatch. This device has proved to be low-cost (representing less than 5% income of a single day’s landings) and easy to implement, being also well accepted by purse seine fishermen. It was not possible to evaluate the efficacy of high contrast panels and black hooks, as no bycatch events were recorded during trials.
Meloidogyne paranaensis is responsible for considerable losses in coffee production. Because of the distribution of this species in the main Coffea arabica producing regions, there is a need for management practices to ensure the sustainability of coffee production. In this work, we evaluated the agronomic performance of resistant clones of the Conilon coffee cultivar Vitoria Incaper 8142 in areas infested by M. paranaensis in the west region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Clones 2V, 3V, and 6V presented the lowest number of nematodes per gram of roots and were considered resistant to M. paranaensis. All other clones were considered tolerant to this nematode, and one had good vegetative growth but allowed nematode reproduction. Clones of Vitoria Incaper 8142 of C. canephora represent an alternative to coffee production in areas infested by M. paranaensis including areas traditionally cultivated with C. arabica.
Healthcare organizations have invested efforts on hospital-based health technology assessment (HB-HTA) and enterprise risk management (ERM) processes for novel systems to obtain more accurate data on which to base strategic decisions. This study proposes to analyze how HB-HTA and ERM processes can share personal resources and skills to achieve principles with value-oriented results.
Literature on ERM and HB-HTA and data from interviews with healthcare managers compose the research data sources, which were submitted to a qualitative data analysis. It was oriented to identify the association between ERM and HB-HTA application in hospitals and the common principles between both processes, in addition to proposing the capability to share personal resources between both teams in a matrix.
The common principles and personal background suggested for HB-HTA and ERM teams allowed the build of a matrix identifying how both teams can work in an integrated manner being more effective and value-oriented. The shared resource matrix reports how each professional (with a specific background) may interact with each activity associated to HB-HTA or ERM implementation guidelines.
The identification of common principles and capabilities between ERM and HB-HTA suggested advances with the literature from both research areas. The opportunity to share personal resources also contributes to the implementation of those processes in hospitals with less financial resources, approaching its own management to be more efficient with the care chain.
TorsinA is a member of the AAA+ superfamily of adenosine triphosphatases. These AAA+ proteins have numerous biological functions, including vesicle fusion, cytoskeleton dynamics, intracellular trafficking, protein folding, and degradation as well as organelle biogenesis. Of particular interest is torsinA, which is mainly located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and nuclear envelope (NE). Interestingly, mutations in the TOR1A gene (the gene encoding torsinA) are associated with DYT1 dystonia and with the preferential localization of mutated torsinA at the NE, where it is associated with lamina-associated polypeptide 1. A bioinformatics study of the torsinA interactome revealed reproductive processes to be highly relevant, as proteins in this class were found to interact with the former. Interestingly, the torsin protein family had never been previously described to be associated with the mammalian spermatogenic process. Histological staining of torsinA in human testis tissue revealed a granular cytoplasmic localization in mid- and late spermatocytes. We further sought to understand this newly discovered expression of torsinA in the meiotic phase of human spermatogenesis by studying its specific subcellular distribution. TorsinA is not present in the ER as commonly described. The proposal that torsinA might relocate to the pro-acrosomal vesicles in the Golgi apparatus is discussed.
The Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax (Linnaeus, 1758) is a medium-sized, ‘Near Threatened’ steppe bird, whose Iberian population has been alarmingly declining over recent decades. Although this population loss has been mainly attributed to agricultural intensification, there is no information on Little Bustard adult mortality levels and their drivers. Based on a joint effort combining all the tracking data on adult Little Bustards collected over a period of 12 years by all research teams working with the species in Iberia, we found that annual anthropogenic mortality is likely to have a critical impact on the species, with values almost as high as the mortality attributed to predation. Collision with power lines was found to be the main anthropogenic threat to the adult population (3.4–3.8%/year), followed by illegal killing (2.4–3%/year), which had a higher impact than initially foreseen. Our work shows how poorly understood and previously unknown threats are affecting the survival of the most important Little Bustard population in Europe.
Background: The mechanisms and triggers of the attentional bias in social anxiety are not yet fully determined, and the modulating role of personality traits is being increasingly acknowledged. Aims: Our main purpose was to test whether social anxiety is associated with mechanisms of hypervigilance, avoidance (static biases), vigilance-avoidance or the maintenance of attention (dynamic biases). Our secondary goal was to explore the role of personality structure in shaping the attention bias. Method: Participants with high vs low social anxiety and different personality structures viewed pairs of faces (free-viewing eye-tracking task) representing different emotions (anger, happiness and neutrality). Their eye movements were registered and analysed for both whole-trial (static) and time-dependent (dynamic) measures. Results: Comparisons between participants with high and low social anxiety levels did not yield evidence of differences in eye-tracking measures for the whole trial (latency of first fixation, first fixation direction, total dwell time), but the two groups differed in the time course of overt attention during the trial (dwell time across three successive time segments): participants with high social anxiety were slower in disengaging their attention from happy faces. Similar results were obtained using a full-sample, regression-based analysis. Conclusion: Our results speak in favour of a maintenance bias in social anxiety. Preliminary results indicated that personality structure may not affect the maintenance (dynamic) bias of socially anxious individuals, although depressive personality structures may favour manifestations of a (static) hypervigilance bias.
The exposure of oocytes to heat stress during the maturation process results in harmful effects to their internal organelles, low fertilization capability and higher embryonic losses. In the present experiment the effect of heat shock (HS) during the maturation process was assessed. In Assay 1, oocytes from winter (December–March; n = 100) and summer (June–September; n = 100) months were collected and matured to analyse their HS tolerance. Total RNA was extracted from matured oocytes and cDNA synthesis was performed, followed by qPCR for selected genes (Cx43, CDH1, DNMT1, HSPA14), compared with two reference genes (GAPDH and SDHA). In Assay 2, oocytes collected during the winter were subjected to kinetic HS by stressing them at 39.5°C for 6, 12, 18 or 24 h and were afterwards matured at control temperature (38.5°C), and subsequently subjected to the previously described gene analysis procedure. Results of Assay 1 show that summer-collected oocytes exhibited lower maturation rate than winter-collected oocytes, which may be due to the down-regulation of the HSPA 14 gene. Assay 2 showed that 6 h of HS had no effect on gene regulation. CDH1 and DNMT1 up-regulation was observed starting at 12 h, which may represent the effect of heat shock on oocyte development.
To describe the caffeine and sugar content of all energy drinks available on the island of Ireland.
Two retail outlets were selected from each of: multinational, convenience and discount stores in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and all available single-serve energy drinks were purchased. The cross-sectional survey was conducted in February 2015 and brand name, price, volume, caffeine and sugar content were recorded for each product. Descriptive analysis was performed.
Seventy-eight products were identified on the island of Ireland (regular, n 59; diet/sugar-free/light, n 19). Caffeine and sugar content was in the range of 14–35 mg and 2·9–15·6 g per 100 ml, respectively. Mean caffeine content of 102·2 mg per serving represents 25·6 % of the maximum intake advised for adults by the European Food Safety Authority. Per serving, mean sugar content of regular energy drinks was 37 g. This exceeds WHO recommendations for maximum daily sugar intake of <5 % of total energy intake (25 g for adults consuming 8368 kJ (2000 kcal) diet). If displaying front-of-pack labelling, fifty-seven of the fifty-nine regular energy drinks would receive a Food Standards Agency ‘red’ colour-coded label for sugar.
Energy drinks are freely available on the island of Ireland and all products surveyed can be defined as highly caffeinated products. This has potential health issues particularly for children and adolescents where safe limits of caffeine have not been determined. Energy drinks surveyed also contained high levels of sugar and could potentially contribute to weight gain and adverse dental health effects.
Three assays were performed. In assay 1, oocytes harvested during the winter months were subjected to kinetic heat shock by stressing the oocytes at 39.5°C (HS1) or at 40.5°C (HS2) for either 6, 12, 18 or 24 h and then matured at control temperature (38.5°C). The nuclear maturation rates (NMR) of all oocytes were recorded after 24 h. In assay 2, oocytes collected year-round maturated, were implanted via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and developed for 9 days. Gene expression analysis was performed on target genes (Cx43, CDH1, DNMT1, HSPA14) with reference to the two housekeeping genes (GAPDH and SDHA) in embryos. Similarly, in assay 3, genetic analysis was performed on the embryos produced from heat-stressed oocytes (from HS1 and HS2). In assay 1, the duration of heat stress resulted in a significant decline in NMR (P < 0.05) with HS1 for maturated oocytes at 86.4 ± 4.3; 65.5 ± 0.7; 51.3 ± 0.9; 38.1 ± 1.9 and 36.3 ± 0.9, for control, 6 h, 12 h, 18 h and 24 h, respectively. For assays 2 and 3, results demonstrated that DNMT1, Cx43 and HSPA14 were down-regulated in the embryos produced in the warm with respect to the cold months (P < 0.05). A constant up- and down-regulation of DNMT1 and HSPA14 genes were observed in both HS-treated samples. Also, an inconsistent pattern of gene expression was observed in Cx43 and CDH1 genes (P < 0.05). Targeted gene expression was aberrant in embryo development, which can provide evidence on early embryo arrest and slowed embryo development.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of a protein-free diet in the induction of food allergy and oral tolerance in BALB/c mice. The experimental model used was mice that were fed, since weaning up to adulthood, a balanced diet in which all dietary proteins were replaced by amino acid diet (Aa). The absence of dietary proteins did not prevent the development of food allergy to ovalbumin (OVA) in these mice. However, Aa-fed mice produced lower levels of IgE, secretory IgA and cytokines. In addition, when compared with mice from control group, Aa-fed mice had a milder aversive reaction to the allergen measured by consumption of OVA-containing solution and weight loss during food allergy development. In addition, mice that did not have dietary proteins in their diets were less susceptible to induction of oral tolerance. One single oral administration was not enough to suppress specific serum Ig and IgG1 levels in the Aa-fed group, although it was efficient to induce suppression in the control group. The present results indicate that the stimulation by dietary proteins alters both inflammatory reactivity and regulatory immune reactivity in mice probably due to their effect in the maturation of the immune system.
An ideal culture medium for Leishmania promastigotes should retain the basic characteristics of promastigotes found in sandflies (morphology and infectivity). Furthermore, the media should not create a bias in experimental settings, thus enabling the proper extrapolation of results. To assess this we studied several established media for promastigote growth. We analysed morphology, viability, cell cycle progression, metacyclic profile, capacity to differentiate into axenic amastigotes and infectivity. Furthermore, using a rational approach from the evaluated media we developed a simple serum-free medium (cRPMI). We report that parasites growing in different media present different biological characteristics and distinct in vitro and in vivo infectivities. The developed medium, cRPMI, proved to be a less expensive substitute for traditional serum-supplemented media for the in vitro maintenance of promastigotes. In fact, cRPMI is ideal for the maintenance of parasites in the laboratory, diminishing the expected loss of virulence over time typical of the parasite cultivation. Ultimately this report is a clear warning that the normalization of culture media should be a real concern in the field as media-specific phenomena are sufficient to induce biological bias with consequences in infectivity and general parasite biology.
Coronary artery fistulae are uncommon but may be haemodynamically significant, being an incidental finding in 0.1–0.2% of coronary angiograms. Even rarer is the association between fistulae and non-atherosclerotic coronary artery aneurysms. They most frequently originate in the right coronary artery, and the right cardiac chambers are the most common draining chambers. Most children are asymptomatic, whereas those older than 20 years may present with signs of congestive heart failure, infective endocarditis, myocardial ischaemia, or aneurysm rupture. Management is either surgical or via percutaneous means. We report the case of a 5-year-old child referred for assessment of an asymptomatic cardiac murmur. The echocardiographic evaluation showed an enlarged right atrium, a fenestrated atrial septal defect, and a giant right coronary artery aneurysm with a fistulous tract that appeared to drain directly into the right atrium. Computed angiocardiac tomography and cardiac catherisation confirmed the presence of a large right coronary fistula originating from the right coronary aneurysm draining into the right atrium. The patient underwent surgical ligation of the fistula and the post-operative course has been uneventful. He is currently on double antiaggregation therapy.
Today polysaccharide based hydrogel nanocomposites are receiving high importance as biomaterials for drug delivery. Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) are incorporated into the polymer matrix to provide novel functionalities to the hydrogels. However, the effect of nanofillers on the release properties has not been totally understood. In this work, we investigate the influence of inorganic functional nanofillers (Fe3O4 and Au NPs) with variable size and shape on the structure of κ-carrageenan hydrogels and on the kinetics and release mechanism of methylene blue (MB) as model drug. It was shown that, depending on the nature of the nanofiller incorporated, and for equivalent nanofiller content, the mechanism of MB release can be adjusted either to by diffusion or polymer relaxation mechanism. The mechanism of the MB release was found to be determined by the strength and microstructure of the gel network and extent of gel swelling, which are affected by the extent of incorporation of the nanofillers.