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Rice cultivation in hills is challenged by sub-optimum weather conditions, low soil fertility, low temperature and moisture stress which impedes in attaining high productivity. To address this, four studies were carried out at ICAR Sikkim Centre, Gangtok, India to evaluate relative performance of local organic cultivars and conventionally bred varieties under an organic farming system. Conventionally bred varieties yielded significantly higher (45%) than local cultivars under recommended timely sown conditions whereas local cultivars showed superiority in grain yield under late sown conditions coinciding with low temperature during flowering to grain filling. Genotypes did not show significant interaction when organic or conventional production conditions were compared. For grain yield, there was a significant variation for variety × year interaction under organic system. Local organic cultivars had reduced grain yield and associated traits under rainfed upland conditions. Panicles per unit area had a significant positive association with grain yield in all production environments (organic lowland, organic upland, conventional lowland and conventional upland). Overall, the study indicates using local cultivars as donors for specific stress tolerance traits in background of high yielding genotypes to enhance rice yields sustainably under organic system in hills.
To explore trait variation, assess relative performance and establish association among yield and its associated traits in maize under organic system, 373 maize genotypes that consisted of landraces, open-pollinated varieties and single-cross hybrids were tested under organic management in Sikkim midhills. Data of 8 years (2009–2015 and 2019) for 12 agronomic traits viz., plant height, days to 50% tasselling, days to 50% silking, days to 75% dry husk, grain yield per ha, anthesis–silking interval, cob length, cob diameter, kernel rows per cob, kernels per row, number of cobs per plot and test weight were taken for analysis. Conventionally bred maize hybrids yielded 95.36% higher than the landraces and 58.60% higher than the open-pollinated varieties. Landraces displayed highest mean anthesis–silking interval of 7.18 days. In open-pollinated varieties, test weight showed a positive association with grain yield (0.37) while plant height (0.33) and kernels per row (0.34) were positively correlated to grain yield in case of landraces. Number of cobs per plot showed a very strong association with grain yield in hybrids (1.0). Kernels per cob and test weight contributed 24% to the variation in grain yield in open-pollinated varieties while anthesis–silking interval, days to maturity, number of cobs/plot, test weight and kernel per row accounted for 97% of the variation in grain yield in landraces. Grain yield in single-cross hybrids is contributed maximum (97%) by days to tasselling, silking, anthesis–silking interval, plant height and number of cobs per plot. The study indicates attaining high number of cobs per unit area along with emphasis on traits such as kernels per row, cob length and diameter for achieving higher yields in single-cross hybrids, selection of high test weight genotypes for open-pollinated varieties and emphasis on cob length, kernels per row and plant height for yield improvement in landraces.
Drug-induced movement disorders (DIMDs) form an important subgroup of secondary movement disorders, which despite conferring a significant iatrogenic burden, tend to be under-recognized and inappropriately managed.
We aimed to look into phenomenology, predictors of reversibility, and its impact on the quality of life of DIMD patients.
We conducted the study in the Department of Neurology at a tertiary-care centre in India. The institutional ethics-committee approved the study. We assessed 55-consecutive DIMD patients at presentation to our movement disorder clinic. Subsequently, they followed up to evaluate improvement in severity-scales (UPDRS, UDRS, BARS, AIMS) and quality of life (EuroQol-5D-5L). Wilcoxan-signed-rank test compared the scales at presentation and follow-up. Binary-logistic-regrerssion revealed the independent predictors of reversibility.
Fourteen patients (25.45%) had acute-subacute DIMD and 41 (74.55%) had tardive DIMD. Tardive-DIMD occurred more commonly in the elderly (age 50.73±16.92 years, p<0.001). Drug-induced-Parkinsonism (DIP) was the most common MD, followed by tardivedyskinesia. Risperidone and levosulpiride were the commonest culprit drugs. Patients in both the groups showed a statistically significant response to drug-dose reduction /withdrawal based on follow-up assessment on clinical-rating-scales and quality of life scores (EQ-5D-5L). DIMD was reversible in 71.42% of acute-subacute DIMD and 24.40% of patients with chronic DIMD (p=0.001). Binary-logistic-regression analysis showed acute-subacute DIMDs and DIP as independent predictors of reversibility.
DIP is the commonest and often reversible drug-induced movement disorder. Levosulpiride is notorious for causing DIMD in the elderly, requiring strict pharmacovigilance.
Nature and nurture have always been a prerogative of evolutionary biologists. The environment’s role in shaping an organism’s phenotype has always intrigued us. Since the inception of humankind, twinning has existed with an unsettled parley on the contribution of nature (i.e. genetics) versus nurture (i.e. environment), which can influence the phenotypes. The study of twins measures the genetic contribution and that of the environmental influence for a particular trait, acting as a catalyst, fine-tuning the phenotypic trajectories. This is further evident because a number of human diseases show a spectrum of clinical manifestations with the same underlying molecular aberration. As of now, there is no definite way to conclude just from the genomic data the severity of a disease or even to predict who will get affected. This greatly justifies initiating a twin registry for a country as diverse and populated as India. There is an unmet need to set up a nationwide database to carefully curate the information on twins, serving as a valuable biorepository to study their overall susceptibility to disease. Establishing a twin registry is of paramount importance to harness the wealth of human information related to the biomedical, anthropological, cultural, social and economic significance.
The risk for cardiovascular-related death is predicted to be higher in individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) due to increased prevalence of common cardiac risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, substance use and hyperlipidemia among them.
The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the physical health of patients with SMI in various settings- acute inpatient, tertiary care hospital and community.
We estimated the cardiovascular disease risk of schizophrenia patients with the aid of Framingham Risk Score (FRS) assessment tool, which can quantitatively predict both the heart age and 10-year CVD Risk percentage of patients aged ≥ 30 years. The clozapine to norclozapine ratio was compared with triglyceride levels, body weight, BMI, and fasting blood glucose in patients after treatment with clozapine. Southlake Regional Health Center's practice was compared with the national standards set by Diabetes Canada 2018 guidelines by conducting a clinical audit.
68 non-diabetic, patients aged ≥ 30 years with all the risk factor records for FRS assessment were selected from a cohort of 183 patients registered in the schizophrenia clinic of Southlake Regional Health Centre. The data were collected from patient records from the 75 patients registered with Assertive Community Treatment Team in Georgina, Ontario.
The sample size of the study on inpatients was 49 participants from the acute psychiatry ward consisting of 28 females and 21 males during the month of November 2021.
Males, on average, were found to have an intermediate 10-year CVD risk (~11.2%; FRS total points: 11.27) in comparison to females who, on average, had a low 10-year CVD risk (~7.3%; FRS total points: 11.19). 26% of the patients using FRS were calculated to be at high risk and 28% with intermediate risk of developing a CVD. The average heart age of the sample patients was 60 years, which was 9 years higher than the total average age (51 years). The investigated biomarkers of Hemoglobin A1C, triglycerides, and glucose serum concentration were examined graphically, separated into categories of the ratio measurements of 0–2, 2–3, and 3+. For all biomarkers, lower values were more desirable. Triglycerides were the lowest in the 3+ ratio category. Hemoglobin A1C and glucose serum concentration were lowest in the 0–2 ratio category.100% of patients with diabetes had their blood sugar levels measured and 66.67% were referred to an endocrinologist. In patients without diabetes, 91.30% had their blood sugar levels measured, 39.13% had their HbA1C levels measured, and 6.52% had neither their HbA1C, nor their blood sugar levels measured.
Cardiovascular complication can be one of the leading causes of death in the next 10 years among schizophrenia patients due to age, poor lifestyle choices, and current estimations via the FRS assessment tool. Further studies need to be conducted with a larger sample size and more recent data to examine any adverse lifestyle changes in schizophrenia patients during the pandemic, which could have negatively influenced their cardiovascular health. It is recommended that doctors weigh the risks vs benefits of prescribing clozapine to patients with high triglyceride levels.
‘Sikkim Primitive’ (SP) maize locally known as ‘murali makkai’ in Sikkim is a unique genetic resource exhibiting prolificacy and excellent popping capacity. Status of SP has reached extinction level due to its very small population size and neglected conservation efforts in-situ. In an initial effort to conserve and revive this landrace, characterization and documentation was carried out with 31 morphologically assayed traits recorded at different growth stages along with molecular characterization with simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Plants exhibited prolificacy (5–6 cobs/plant) and excellent popping capacity along with other distinct traits. Plants were tall with thin stem, loose drooping tassel with anthocyanin coloration present at the base of glumes and in brace roots. Cobs were medium sized carrying small seeds with low test weight (87.90 g). A total of 22 SSR markers show amplification in murali makkai with markers bnlg1083, umc1353, umc1128, bnlg1017, bnlg2077, umc2298 and umc2373 amplified unique amplicons ranging from 100 to 800 bp. The characterized set of traits and molecular characterization for murali makkai will facilitate in utilization for genetic improvement and maintenance of genetic purity.
Acquisition and germination of seeds are the most desired targets for the improvement of vegetatively propagated crops. In the present study, we developed a potential embryo germination protocol for the Red Globe grape cultivar having a low seed germination rate. Three grape berries at different developmental stages, viz. 50, 60 and 70 days after flowering (DAF), were selected for in-vitro embryo germination. Three growth media, namely Emershad and Ramming (ER), Nitsch and Nitsch (NN) and Murashige and Skoog (MS), and plant growth regulators (benzyl amino purine (BA), 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 mg/l; indole butyric acid (IBA), 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 mg/l; and gibberellic acid (GA), 0.1, 0.3 and 0.9 mg/l) were screened individually in different combinations with three amino acids, namely cysteine, glutamine and proline (2.0 μmol/l each). The maximum embryos germination percentage recorded at 70 DAF was 63.33, 47.78 and 45.56% in ER, NN and MS media, respectively, supplemented with 0.9 mg/l BA, 2.0 mg/l IBA, 0.9 mg/l GA and 2.0 μmol glutamine. Glutamine was found to have the most significant impact, and it improved the rescued embryos germination. The present study provides a potential recipe for a medium that can facilitate efficient germination of grape embryos.
Anaemia affects approximately 69 % of Indian children aged 6–12 months, with Fe deficiency (ID) being a common cause. The effectiveness of micronutrient-fortified infant cereal in improving Fe status and neurodevelopment was evaluated in non-anaemic and mildly anaemic Indian infants. An intervention group (IC) enrolled at age 6 months consumed 50 g/d of rice-based cereal providing 3·75 mg Fe/d as ferrous fumarate for 6 months (n 80) and was compared with a matched static cross-sectional control group (CG) without intervention enrolled at age 12 months (n 80). Mean Hb was higher in IC (118·1 (sd 10·2) g/l) v. CG (109·5 (sd 16·4) g/l) at age 12 months (adjusted mean difference: 9·7 g/l; 95 % CI 5·1, 14·3; P < 0·001), while geometric mean serum ferritin tended to be higher (27·0 (–1 sd 13·4, +1 sd 54·4) v. 20·3 (–1 sd 7·5, +1 sd 55·0) ng/ml); P = 0·085) and soluble transferrin receptor was lower (1·70 (–1 sd 1·19, +1 sd 2·43) v. 2·07 (–1 sd 1·29, +1 sd 3·33) mg/l; P = 0·014). Anaemia (23 v. 45 %; P = 0·007) and ID (17 v. 40 %; P = 0·003) were lower in IC v. CG. Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Third Edition scores for language (P = 0·003), motor development (P = 0·018), social-emotional (P = 0·004) and adaptive behaviour (P < 0·001), but not cognitive development (P = 0·980), were higher in IC v. CG. No significant difference in anthropometric Z-scores was observed between the groups. Consuming a micronutrient-fortified infant cereal daily for 6 months during complementary feeding promoted better Fe status while reducing the risk for anaemia and ID and was associated with superior neurodevelopmental scores.
We applaud Ram Frost for highlighting the need for multicultural perspectives while developing universal models of visual word recognition. We second Frost's proposal that factors like lexical morphology should be incorporated besides purely orthographic features in modeling word recognition. In support, we provide fresh evidence from Hindi (written in Devanagari), an example of hitherto under-represented alphasyllabic orthographies, in which flexible encoding of akṣara (character) position is constrained by the morphological structure of words.
Foot impact force during running has been suggested as one of the important causes of haemolysis in runners. However, intravascular haemolysis has also been reported among athletes involved in sports in which foot impact does not occur. The purpose of our study was to analyse intravascular haemolysis in athletes during running and compare it with cycling. Twenty male long- and middle-distance runners volunteered to participate in this study. They were divided into two groups (group 1: running and group 2: cycling), with 10 participants in each group. Each athlete completed 1 h of running or cycling at their calculated target heart rate (60–70%). Venous blood samples were collected before and immediately after the running and cycling protocols. Unconjugated bilirubin (UBR; P < 0.01) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; P <0.05) levels were increased significantly after running, indicating the occurrence of haemolysis in this group of athletes. A significant variation was observed in the mean values of haematological variables between post-run (UBR: 1.40 ± 0.29, LDH: 225 ± 69.13, haemoglobin (Hb): 11 ± 1.09) and pre-run (UBR: 0.88 ± 0.31, LDH: 183 ± 40.42, Hb: 12.10 ± 1.19) during the running protocol. No significant differences in haematological variables were found between athletes who did cycling and non-exercising group participants. Our results indicate that intravascular haemolysis occurred significantly during running when compared with cycling. Hence, we conclude that the mechanical trauma due to footstrike is the major cause of intravascular haemolysis during running.
The present study was designed to evaluate the independent and interactive effects of a once-a-day yoghurt drink providing 2 g plant sterols/d and capsules providing 2 g fish oil n-3 long-chain (LC) PUFA/d on plasma lipids, apolipoproteins and LDL particle size. Following a 2-week run-in period, 200 mildly hypercholesterolaemic Indian adults aged 35–55 years were randomised into one of four groups of a 2 × 2 factorial, double-blind controlled trial. The 4-week treatments consisted of (1) control yoghurt drink and control capsules, (2) control yoghurt drink and fish oil capsules, (3) plant sterol-enriched yoghurt drink and control capsules, or (4) plant sterol-enriched yoghurt drink and fish oil capsules. Blood was drawn before and after the 4-week intervention. Changes in health status, lifestyle and dietary habits, and daily compliance were recorded. The main effects of plant sterols were a 4·5 % reduction in LDL-cholesterol and a 15 % reduction in TAG without a significant change in HDL-cholesterol. Overall, fish oil n-3 LC-PUFA did not significantly affect cholesterol concentrations but reduced TAG by 15 % and increased HDL-cholesterol by 5·4 %. The combination significantly lowered TAG by 15 % v. control. No significant interaction between plant sterols and n-3 LC-PUFA was observed on plasma cholesterol concentrations. In conclusion, once-a-day intake of 2 g plant sterols/d in a yoghurt drink, 2 g fish oil n-3 LC-PUFA/d in capsules, and their combination had beneficial effects on the lipid profile of mildly hypercholesterolaemic Indian adults. The potent hypotriacylglycerolaemic effect of plant sterols observed in the present study and this population warrants additional investigation.
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a leading thin film photovoltaic (PV) material due to its near ideal band gap of 1.45 eV, its high optical absorption coefficient and availability of various device fabrication methods. Superstrate CdTe solar cells fabricated on glass have to-date exhibited efficiencies of 16.5%. Work on substrate devices has been limited due to difficulties associated with the formation of an ohmic contact with CdTe. Foil substrate curvature, flaking, delamination and adhesion as a result of compressive strain due to the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatch between the flexible foil substrate and the solar cell films has been studied. Thin films have been characterized by AFM, XRD, SEM, ASTM D3359-08 tape test, and solar cells have been characterized using J-V and spectral measurements. Adhesion improves by minimizing the mismatch of the CTE . A CdCl2 treatment is important for high efficiency solar cells. The treatment influences the microstructure and interface properties of the layers. The effect of the current CdCl2 chemical treatment increases flaking and has to be optimized for the CdTe substrate cell on foil. We have also fabricated solar cells on tantalum, molybdenum and tungsten foils, all with lower CTEs than SS430. We are currently producing solar cells with a VOC of 630mV, a 50% fill factor and over 6.0% efficiency.
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