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Antarctic lakes have generally simple periphyton communities when compared with those of lower latitudes. To date, assessment of microbial diversity in Antarctica has relied heavily on traditional direct observation and cultivation methods. In this study, sterilized cotton baits were left submerged for two years in two lakes on King George Island and Deception Island, South Shetland Islands (Maritime Antarctic), followed by assessment of diversity by metabarcoding using high-throughput sequencing. DNA sequences of 44 taxa belonging to four kingdoms and seven phyla were found. Thirty-six taxa were detected in Hennequin Lake on King George Island and 20 taxa were detected in Soto Lake on Deception Island. However, no significant difference in species composition was detected between the two assemblages (Shannon index). Our data suggest that metabarcoding provides a suitable method for the assessment of periphyton biodiversity in oligotrophic Antarctic lakes.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is affecting numerous dimensions of our society since the beginning of the outbreak. A significant increase in emotional distress was expected in the general population, particularly among the high-risk groups such as the oldest, chronic patients, healthcare professionals, and psychopathology vulnerable people. There was an urgent need to adapt and create solutions to promote mental health. Given the recommendations to minimize face-to-face interactions, several helplines were widely developed.
In this work, we aim to reflect on the experience of a university helpline, that integrated efforts with the regional mental health care services.
A University helpline was created to give support to the regional community outside academia. The team was created on an online teamwork platform, to communicate through the chat, carry videoconference meetings, and store useful files. A Manchester screening decision tree was adopted, to define a set of guidelines to provide support to the callers, based mainly on the guidelines defined by the Order of Portuguese Psychologists. Liaison with the mental health care services, including other specific helplines, was established.
Notwithstanding all the efforts, the number of received calls was scarce, similarly to helplines created by other national universities and by other entities.
A new approach to psychological intervention in crisis is needed, maintaining integrated efforts, and taking advantage of the opportunity to foster personalized mental health care in the digital era. It is important to continuously assess the value of integrated efforts in patient care and to the healthcare system.
The few Antarctic studies to date to have applied metabarcoding in Antarctica have primarily focused on microorganisms. In this study, for the first time, we apply high-throughput sequencing of environmental DNA to investigate the diversity of Embryophyta (Viridiplantae) DNA present in soil samples from two contrasting locations on Deception Island. The first was a relatively undisturbed site within an Antarctic Specially Protected Area at Crater Lake, and the second was a heavily human-impacted site in Whalers Bay. In samples obtained at Crater Lake, 84% of DNA reads represented fungi, 14% represented Chlorophyta and 2% represented Streptophyta, while at Whalers Bay, 79% of reads represented fungi, 20% represented Chlorophyta and < 1% represented Streptophyta, with ~1% of reads being unassigned. Among the Embryophyta we found 16 plant operational taxonomic units from three Divisions, including one Marchantiophyta, eight Bryophyta and seven Magnoliophyta. Sequences of six taxa were detected at both sampling sites, eight only at Whalers Bay and two only at Crater Lake. All of the Magnoliophyta sequences (flowering plants) represent species that are exotic to Antarctica, with most being plausibly linked to human food sources originating from local national research operator and tourism facilities.
Literacy affects many aspects of language and cognition, including the shift from a more holistic mode of processing to a more analytical part-based mode of processing. Here we examined whether this shift impacts the ability of preschool and primary school children to learn the rules underlying a finite-state grammar using an artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigm implemented with either linguistic (letters) or non-linguistic (colors) materials to further examine if children’s AGL performance was modulated by type of stimuli. Both tasks involved a training phase in which half of the preschool children and half of the primary school children were exposed to a set of either letter or color strings without any information about the rules underlying the construction of those strings. Later, in the test phase, they were asked to decide whether a new set of letter or color strings conformed to those rules to test grammar learning. Results showed that only primary school children showed evidence of learning, and, importantly, only with colors. These findings seem to support the view that learning to read promotes reliance on smaller linguistic units that might hinder the ability of first-graders to learn the rules underlying finite-state grammars implemented with linguistic materials.
Fossil fuels are of utmost importance to the world we live in today. However, their use can cause major impacts on the environment, especially on water resources. In this regard, algae have been intensively used as a strategy for remediation and monitoring of environmental pollution due to its efficient absorption of contaminants. In this work, samples of seaweed collected in Niterói/RJ—contaminated with kerosene and diesel—were analyzed by radiocarbon (14C) accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and by n-alkane quantification with gas chromatography to evaluate bioaccumulation in function of the dosage of contaminants. The biogenic content measured by radiocarbon analysis resulted in 95.6% for algae contaminated with 10 mL of kerosene and 67.6% for algae contaminated with 10 mL of diesel. The maximum intensity of n-C17 n-alkane in algae with 5 mL, 10 mL, and 15 mL of diesel was 768.2, 1878.1, and 5699.2 ng.g-1, respectively. While the maximum concentration of n-C27 in algae with 5 mL, 10 mL and 15 mL of kerosene was 3.3, 35.9, and 150.3 ng.g-1. We concluded that, for both contaminants, their incorporation into algae increases as the contamination dosage increases, making this methodology an effective technique for monitoring and remediation of urban aquatic ecosystems.
Burden of care might be highly dependent of specific characteristics of the disease (Lee et al., 2019). Uncertainties remain about factors that influence burden of care in Parkinson Disease (PD).
To identify a list of ICF-related domains identified by caregivers of older patients with PD.
Caregivers of people with PD were recruited in Portugal Parkinson Foundation, if they take care of someone with PD older than 65 yrs, and for more than 6 hours/day. A focus group was video recorded, based on the following questions: Can you please tell us how did you spent your day before you're a caregiver; there are any differences in your daily routine now? How do you feel or think when you're caring for a relative? Can you tell us if there is any kind of daily activity more pleasant or more embarrassing? Verbal interactions during focus group were transcribed and codified using International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF) domains.
Seven caregivers (5 females; 40-73 yrs; 5 were spousal) were enrolled. Thirty-six caregivers’ references were about body functions and structures (91.67% - mental functions: “I feel tired…it is a constant monotony”); fifty-seven references were about activities and participation (“I need to assist him with bathing”; “when he wants to standing from his favourite chair, he always need help…and his body is very stiff”);eleven references were about environmental factors, mostly about medication and family/health professionals assistance.
Our results demonstrated that caregivers are worried about their mental health and routine preservation, which is in accordance with previous studies in this topic (Tessitore et al.,2018). However, new caregivers’ perceptions were found in our study, which are very specific domains in PD: body motion rigidity and medication for patients’ psychomotor agitation. A previous study stated that control of mental symptoms in PD are the most powerful predictors of caregivers' burden (Hooker et al., 2000), but do not consider the importance of Parkinson’s motor symptoms.
Burden of care in PD is mostly associated with the need of preservation in daily routines, but also with management of mental and motor symptoms in PD.
We evaluated whether early-life protein restriction alters structural parameters that affect β-cell mass on the 15th day and 20th day of gestation in control pregnant (CP), control non-pregnant (CNP), low-protein pregnant (LPP) and low-protein non-pregnant (LPNP) rats from the fetal to the adult life stage as well as in protein-restricted rats that recovered after weaning (recovered pregnant (RP) and recovered non-pregnant). On the 15th day of gestation, the CNP group had a higher proportion of smaller islets, whereas the CP group exhibited a higher proportion of islets larger than the median. The β-cell mass was lower in the low-protein group than that in the recovered and control groups. Gestation increased the β-cell mass, β-cell proliferation frequency and neogenesis frequency independently of the nutritional status. The apoptosis frequency was increased in the recovered groups compared with that in the other groups. On the 20th day of gestation, a higher proportion of islets smaller than the median was observed in the non-pregnant groups, whereas a higher proportion of islets larger than the median was observed in the RP, LPP and CP groups. β-Cell mass was lower in the low-protein group than that in the recovered and control groups, regardless of the physiological status. The β-cell proliferation frequency was lower, whereas the apoptosis rate was higher in recovered rats compared with those in the low-protein and control rats. Thus, protein malnutrition early in life did not alter the mass of β-cells, especially in the first two-thirds of gestation, despite the increase in apoptosis.
We conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate a bundle to prevent nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) in patients on enteral tube feeding. After the intervention, there was an increase in bundle compliance from 55.9% to 70.5% (P < .01) and a significant decrease (34%) in overall NV-HAP rates from 5.71 to 3.77 of 1,000 admissions.
Neurocognitive impairment has been widely reported in major depressive disorder. Patients with major depressive disorder are known to present cognitive deficits, namely in verbal and visual memory, verbal fluency, attention, working memory. Some studies related these deficits with antidepressants, although those were also described in medication-free patients. Other studies suggested that in some groups of patients there may be significant residual cognitive deficits despite an overall positive treatment response with remission of depressive episodes.
The authors aim to contextualize cognitive deficits in patients with major depressive disorder and treatment options that could preserve/improve the cognitive functions.
Scientific literature search and review on the PubMed database with the keywords: 'major depressive disorder', 'cognition', 'neurocognitive impairment', 'memory', 'executive function', 'attention'.
Given the perception of impaired neurocognitive functioning in patients with major depressive disorder even in the remission phases, there has been an increased interest in attempting to treat those deficits during the last decade.
Studies suggest that different types of deficits are found in patients medicated with different types of antidepressants and medication-free patients. Some new treatment approaches have been used such as cognitive remediation therapy which is more frequently used in schizophrenia. Recent studies suggest that cognitive enhancing treatments could be an approach which should be further investigated.
Currently, the mechanisms underlying neurocognitive deficits in patients with major depressive disorder are not fully understood. Since these symptoms have a major impact on patients' lives this issue will remain an area of ??interest in the near future.
A longstanding issue in the field of nutrition is the potential inaccuracy of methods traditionally used for dietary assessment (i.e. food diaries and food frequency questionnaires). It is possible to overcome the limitations and biases of these techniques by combining them with analytical measurements in human biofluids. Metabolomic technologies are gaining popularity as nutritional tools due to their capacity to measure metabolic responses to external stimuli, such as the ingestion of certain foods. This project performed both LC-MS and 1H-NMR metabolomic profiling on serum samples collected as part of the NICOLA study (Northern Irish Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging) in order to discover novel dietary biomarkers. A dietary validation cohort (NIDAS) was incorporated within NICOLA, involving 45 males and 50 females, aged 50 years and over. Participants provided detailed dietary data (4-day food diary) and blood samples at two time-points, six months apart. Serum samples were processed on two analytical platforms. 1H-NMR spectra were acquired using a Bruker 600 MHz Ascent coupled to a TCI cryoprobe and processed using Bayesil (University of Alberta, Canada). A Waters TQ-S coupled with an Acquity I-class UPLC was used in combination with a targeted commercially available kit (AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit, Biocrates). Mass spectra obtained were processed with MetIDQ and verified using MassLynx (v4.1). Data were tested for normality, and metabolite concentrations were correlated with recorded dietary intake of each food type using SPSS. Additional tests (PCA, PLS-DA, ROC Curves) were performed on MetaboAnalyst 4.0 (University of Alberta, Canada). More than 50 statistically significant (P < 0.05) food-metabolite correlations were detected, 15 of which remained significant after eliminating potential confounding from sex, age and BMI. The strongest correlations were between fruit consumption and acetic acid, and between dairy consumption and certain glycerophospholipids (e.g. LysoPC aa C20:3). Stratifying the cohort by gender yielded further correlations, including PC ae C38:2 (dairy; males), PC aa C34:4 (dairy; females), PC aa C36:4 (dairy; females) and trans-4-Hydroxyproline (meat; males). A number of potential blood-based food biomarkers were detected, many of which are gender-specific, and some are corroborated by previously published studies. However, further validation work is required. For example, biological plausibility needs to be established, and the findings need to be reproduced in other cohorts to demonstrate their applicability in larger and more diverse populations. These results contribute greatly to the ongoing efforts to discover and validate reliable nutritional biomarkers as an objective and unbiased measurement of food intake.
The “Right to the night sky” outreach project holds astronomy workshops for children and teens deprived of their liberty in juvenile detention centers. It is carried out by an interdisciplinary group of students, graduates, and teachers of Astronomy, Geophysics, Educational Science, Law, Psychology, Social Work, and Social Communication. It’s has been accredited and recognized by the Faculty of Astronomical and Geophysical Sciences, and the National University of La Plata (Argentina) since the year 2014. This work presents the diverse activities developed in the project, the methodologies used, and an analysis of how the project evolved, grew, and expanded over time, continuing what has already been presented by Charalambous et al. (2014) and Haack et al. (2019)
Both transposition of the great arteries (TGA) previously submitted to a Senning/Mustard procedure and congenitally corrected TGA (cc-TGA) have the systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle, thereby rendering these patients to heart failure events risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters for stratifying the risk of heart failure events in TGA patients.
Retrospective evaluation of adult TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle submitted to cardiopulmonary exercise test in a tertiary centre. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year for the primary endpoint of cardiac death or heart failure hospitalisation. Several cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters were analysed as potential predictors of the combined endpoint and their predictive power were compared (area under the curve).
Cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed in 44 TGA patients (8 cc-TGA), with a mean age of 35.1 ± 8.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached by 10 (22.7%) patients, with a mean follow-up of 36.7 ± 26.8 months. Heart rate at anaerobic threshold had the highest area under the curve value (0.864), followed by peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) (0.838). Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm and pVO2 ≤20 ml/kg/min had a sensitivity of 87.5 and 80.0% and a specificity of 82.4 and 76.5%, respectively, for the primary outcome.
Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm had the highest predictive power of all cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters analysed for heart failure events in TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle.
To investigate the association between the intake of selected food groups and beverages and serum uric acid (UA).
Cross-sectional study using the baseline data (2008–2010) from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). Food intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire with 114 items. Linear and logistic regressions investigated the associations between the daily intake of each food group (servings/d) and UA (mg/dl) and hyperuricemia (UA ≥ 6·8 mg/dl), respectively. All the analyses were adjusted for potential confounders, energy intake and all food groups.
Teaching and research institutions from six Brazilians states.
The participants were 14 320 active and retired civil servants, aged 35–74 years.
Higher intake of dairy products was associated with lower serum UA levels in both sexes, with a statistical dose-response gradient. High meat intake was associated with high UA only in women, and high intake of organ meats, in men. Intake of fish and fruits, vegetables and legumes were not associated with serum UA. In men, moderate and high intake of alcoholic beverages, specifically beer and spirits, but not wine, increased UA. In women, only high intake of alcoholic beverages, specifically beer, was associated with increased serum UA. Similar associations were seen for hyperuricemia.
Results suggest a potential beneficial role of dairy products consumption on UA levels. The association between alcohol intake and UA differed according to type of beverage and between sexes. Results reinforce the need to consider the whole diet in the analysis and to conduct sex stratified analysis.
Regeneration from seed affects species assembly in plant communities, and temperature is the most important environmental factor controlling the germination process. Thermal dependence of seed germination is thus associated with species occurrence in an ecosystem. Hence, we aimed to investigate the role of temperature on seed germination of ten tree species from the western Brazilian Amazon. Seeds were collected in the state of Rondônia, Brazil, and set to germinate under constant temperatures ranging from 10 to 40°C in germination chambers. We calculated germination capacity (G%), germination rate (GR50, reciprocal of germination time), and thermal parameters, such as cardinal temperatures and thermal time requirements. Most species had a large range of temperatures showing G% ≥80%, with optimal temperature varying from 20 to 40°C. Base temperature ranged from 6 to 12°C and ceiling temperatures were mainly >40°C. Astronium lecointei and Parkia nitida showed high germination capacity under temperatures of 35–40°C, while germination of Theobroma cacao dropped from 100% to zero under temperatures between 37 and 40°C. The climax species Cedrela fissilis had the slowest germination time (10 days) and highest thermal time requirement, while seeds of Enterolobium schomburgkii (a late-successional species) germinated within the first day of the experiment. Rapid recruitment of Amazon species could be favoured with treefall disturbance, which increases temperatures in the understory, but sharp limits might be found in the supra-optimal range of temperatures. Such patterns might indicate different regeneration strategies in the tropical rainforest, providing important information regarding seed germination among Amazon species.
The present study describes the variation in the benthic macrofauna related to the presence of Sabellaria wilsoni (Polychaeta: Sabellariidae) reefs on a sandy beach of the Brazilian Amazon Coast. The study also investigated whether the erosion of parts of the reef by intense wave action results in differences in the fauna. Samples were collected from a patch of reef and the adjacent sandy sediment for the analysis of the zoobenthos and substrates (granulometry and organic matter content) on Algodoal-Maiandeua Island (northern Brazil coast). The reef had more heterogeneous sediments and a higher organic matter content, and its fauna was distinct from that of the beach, with a higher density, species richness and diversity. The reef fauna included taxa typical of both consolidated and unconsolidated substrates. The portion of the reef more exposed to wave action had a lower density of reef-building worms, and these worms were smaller in size than those of the more protected portion, although the associated fauna of the exposed portion was denser and richer in species. These results confirmed that S. wilsoni is an important ecosystem engineer on the Amazon coast, and that the diversity and unique features of the fauna associated with these reefs emphasize their importance as a substrate for the local benthic communities, in particular in areas where consolidated bottoms are naturally scarce.
Energy-efficient condensation of steam contained in atmospheric air has emerged as a solution to the water scarcity. Academic and industrial research works that seeks to develop water collection devices with high efficiency has great relevance for the scientific community. In this work, we aim to show that modified carbon nanotubes forest can remove the condensed drops easier than a hydrophobic and a super-hydrophilic surface. In addition, this result was reached at high super saturation level which is an innovative aspect of this work. The Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes (VACNTs) were grown on steel pipes. We used a CO2 laser and an O2 plasma to perform the post treatments that changed the CNTs to super-hydrophobic and super-hydrophilic, respectively. In addition, the CO2 laser treatment added a second level of roughness in the surface by etching the nanotubes walls. A polyethylene coating attached the carbon nanotubes to the substrate. We experimentally demonstrated a 24% higher vapor condensation rate at high supersaturations levels.
The Roosevelt–Rondon Expedition marmoset Mico marcai was first collected in 1914 and all information on this primate previously came from three skins brought back by this expedition. As a result, M. marcai is categorized as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. As the presumed range of M. marcai lies on the path of the advancing arc of deforestation in Brazil, the collection of relevant data to assess the conservation status of this Amazonian species is of some urgency. Here we present the first field data on the distribution and population size of, and threats to, M. marcai, to reassess the species’ conservation status. During 2012–2015 we surveyed the species in the Marmelos–Aripuanã interfluve, and estimated its density using distance sampling. We also used spatial predictive modelling to estimate forest loss within the species range under two deforestation scenarios. We found the marmoset in 13 localities and estimated its extent of occurrence to be 31,073 km2. We estimated the species’ density to be 8.31 individuals/km2 and extrapolated this to estimate a total population of 258,218 individuals (CI 150,705–441,860). Under a business-as-usual deforestation scenario, c. 10,000 km2 of forest, comprising 33% of the species’ range, would be lost in three marmoset generations (c. 18 years), and we, therefore, recommend that M. marcai be categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List based on criterion A3c. Other Amazonian marmosets require similar reassessment as their ranges also fall in the path of the arc of deforestation.
The aim of this study was to optimize protocols for electroporation (EP) and polyfection (PLF) using polyethyleneimine (PEI) for pig sperm transfection and to determine which method was the most efficient. For EP standardization, different voltages, amounts and times of electric pulses were tested using propidium iodide (PI) as reporter. For PLF standardization, different concentrations of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled PEI (PEI/FITC) were incubated with sperm for different periods of time. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the best protocol in terms of cell viability, including cytoplasmic membrane, acrosome, chromatin integrities and mitochondrial potential using the FITC probe, PI, acridine orange (AO) and JC1. Transfections with the plasmid pmhyGENIE-5 were carried out under optimum conditions for each procedure (EP: 500 volts, 500 μs and two pulses; PLF: PEI 0.5 mg/ml and incubation time 10 min). Transfection efficacy was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A lower transfection rate was observed for sperm in the control group (17.8%) compared with EP (36.7%), with PLF (76.8%) being the most efficient. These results suggest that the EP and PEI could be an efficient and low cost transfection method for swine sperm. Notably, treated cells showed higher plasmatic the membrane damage (PMD) and/or acrosome damage (AD) indexes, therefore the combination of this procedure with biotechniques that facilitate fecundation (i.e. in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection) or even inclusion of antioxidant or anti-apoptotic drugs to improve spermatozoa viability would be important.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of FSH and PI3K on the nuclear maturation, viability, steroidogenesis and embryo development of bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs). Oocyte maturation was achieved with MIV B, MIV B+100 µM LY294002, MIV B+10 ng/mL follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), or MIV B+10 ng/mL FSH+100 µM LY294002 treatments for 22–24 h. After the cultured COCs were denuded, oocytes were separated into those that extruded polar bodies (mature) and those that did not, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for BAX, BCL2, LHR, FSHR, CYP11A1, CYP19A1 and HSD17B1 genes was performed. The culture medium was collected to determine the levels of 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4). The trypan blue test was used to study COC viability, and embryo development was evaluated. FSH increased nuclear maturation and PI3K blocked the maturation but did not influence oocyte viability. BAX and BCL2 expression levels in the cumulus cells were only affected by FSH, and the BAX levels decreased after treatment with LY294002. FSH increased the levels of E2 and P4, however inhibition of PI3K decreased E2 levels. MIV B enhanced levels of LHR, FSHR, CYP11A1, CYP19A1 and HSD17B1, whereas LY294002 inhibited the expression levels of all genes. MIV B+FSH decreased the expression levels of all genes except CYP11A1. LY294002 did not demonstrate any effects in the presence of FSH. Embryo development was significantly decreased when the MIV B+FSH medium was used. In conclusion, FSH controls the steroidogenesis, viability and gene expression in COCs. PI3K plays essential roles in nuclear maturation, steroidogenesis and embryo development.