1,552 research outputs found

    Object grasping and manipulation in capuchin monkeys (genera Cebus and Sapajus)

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    The abilities to perform skilled hand movements and to manipulate objects dexterously are landmarks in the evolution of primates. The study of how primates use their hands to grasp and manipulate objects in accordance with their needs sheds light on how these species are physically and mentally equipped to deal with the problems they encounter in their daily life. We report data on capuchin monkeys, highly manipulative platyrrhine species that usually spend a great deal of time in active manipulation to search for food and to prepare it for ingestion. Our aim is to provide an overview of current knowledge on the ability of capuchins to grasp and manipulate objects, with a special focus on how these species express their cognitive potential through manual behaviour. Data on the ability of capuchins to move their hands and on the neural correlates sustaining their actions are reported, as are findings on the manipulative ability of capuchins to anticipate future actions and to relate objects to other objects and substrates. The manual behaviour of capuchins is considered in different domains, such as motor planning, extractive foraging and tool use, in both captive and natural settings. Anatomofunctional and behavioural similarities to and differences from other haplorrhine species regarding manual dexterity are also discussed

    Tactile information improves visual object discrimination in kea, Nestor notabilis, and capuchin monkeys, Sapajus spp.

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    In comparative visual cognition research, the influence of information acquired by nonvisual senses has received little attention. Systematic studies focusing on how the integration of information from sight and touch can affect animal perception are sparse. Here, we investigated whether tactile input improves visual discrimination ability of a bird, the kea, and capuchin monkeys, two species with acute vision, and known for their tendency to handle objects. To this end, we assessed whether, at the attainment of a criterion, accuracy and/or learning speed in the visual modality were enhanced by haptic (i.e. active tactile) exploration of an object. Subjects were trained to select the positive stimulus between two cylinders of the same shape and size, but with different surface structures. In the Sight condition, one pair of cylinders was inserted into transparent Plexiglas tubes. This prevented animals from haptically perceiving the objects' surfaces. In the Sight and Touch condition, one pair of cylinders was not inserted into transparent Plexiglas tubes. This allowed the subjects to perceive the objects' surfaces both visually and haptically. We found that both kea and capuchins (1) showed comparable levels of accuracy at the attainment of the learning criterion in both conditions, but (2) required fewer trials to achieve the criterion in the Sight and Touch condition. Moreover, this study showed that both kea and capuchins can integrate information acquired by the visual and tactile modalities. To our knowledge, this represents the first evidence of visuotactile integration in a bird species. Overall, our findings demonstrate that the acquisition of tactile information while manipulating objects facilitates visual discrimination of objects in two phylogenetically distant species

    Global occurrence of Torque teno virus in water systems

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    Bacterial indicator organisms are used globally to assess the microbiological safety of waters. However, waterborne viral outbreaks have occurred in drinking water systems despite negative bacterial results. Using viral markers may therefore provide more accurate health risk assessment data. In this study, fecal, wastewater, stormwater, surface water (fresh and salt), groundwater, and drinking water samples were analyzed for the presence or concentration of traditional indicators, innovative indicators and viral markers. Samples were obtained in the United States, Italy, and Australia and results compared to those reported for studies conducted in Asia and South America as well. Indicators included total coliforms, Escherichia coli, enterococci, male-specific coliphages, somatic coliphages and microviradae. Viral markers included adenovirus, polyomavirus, and a potential new surrogate, Torque teno virus (TTV). TTV was more frequently found in wastewaters (38-100%) and waters influenced by waste discharges (25%) than in surface waters used as drinking water sources (5%). TTV was also specific to human rather than animal feces. While TTV numbers were strongly correlated to other viral markers in wastewaters, suggesting its utility as a fecal contamination marker, data limitations and TTV presence in treated drinking waters demonstrates that additional research is needed on this potential viral indicator

    Long-Term Functional Outcome after Internal Delorme's Procedure for Obstructed Defecation Syndrome, and the Role of Postoperative Rehabilitation

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    PURPOSE: To evaluate long-term functional outcomes of Internal Delorme's Procedure (IDP) in patients refractory to conservative treatment for Obstructed Defecation Syndrome (ODS), and to compare those who received postoperative rehabilitation with those who did not. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients with ODS refractory to nonoperative therapy were identified across three regional pelvic floor referral hospitals, and IDP was performed. Postoperatively selected patients received biofeedback therapy. Functional outcomes were established using the Cleveland Clinic Constipation (CCC) score and obstructed defecation score (OD score) preoperatively at 12 months and at the last available follow-up. Patient satisfaction was assessed with a visual analogue score. RESULTS: From October 2006 to September 2013, IDP was performed in 170 patients: 77 received postoperative biofeedback and 93 did not. Mean follow-up was 6.3 years (range 1-8 years). CCC and OD scores improved significantly in both groups after 12 months and at the last follow-up (p > 0.05). When comparing two groups while there was no significant difference between CCC and OD scores at 12 months, score was significantly better in the group that received rehabilitation at the last follow-up (p = 0.001). Patient satisfaction was higher in the rehabilitation group (67%) compared with those without rehabilitation (55%). Clinical recurrence was recorded in nine patients who did not have postoperative rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS: It has been demonstrated that IDP is associated with good long-term functional outcomes. Patients receiving rehabilitation had a better long-term follow-up, a higher overall satisfaction, and lower recurrence rate when compared with the patients who did not receive postoperative rehabilitation

    Meropenem vs standard of care for treatment of neonatal late onset sepsis (NeoMero1): A randomised controlled trial.

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    BACKGROUND: The early use of broad-spectrum antibiotics remains the cornerstone for the treatment of neonatal late onset sepsis (LOS). However, which antibiotics should be used is still debatable, as relevant studies were conducted more than 20 years ago, recruited in single centres or countries, evaluated antibiotics not in clinical use anymore and had variable inclusion/exclusion criteria and outcome measures. Moreover, antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a major problem in many countries worldwide. We hypothesized that efficacy of meropenem as a broad-spectrum antibiotic is superior to standard of care regimens (SOC) in empiric treatment of LOS and aimed to compare meropenem to SOC in infants aged 44 weeks meeting the Goldstein criteria of sepsis, were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive meropenem or one of the two SOC regimens (ampicillin+gentamicin or cefotaxime+gentamicin) chosen by each site prior to the start of the study for 8-14 days. The primary outcome was treatment success (survival, no modification of allocated therapy, resolution/improvement of clinical and laboratory markers, no need of additional antibiotics and presumed/confirmed eradication of pathogens) at test-of-cure visit (TOC) in full analysis set. Stool samples were tested at baseline and Day 28 for meropenem-resistant Gram-negative organisms (CRGNO). The primary analysis was performed in all randomised patients and in patients with culture confirmed LOS. Proportions of participants with successful outcome were compared by using a logistic regression model adjusted for the stratification factors. From September 3, 2012 to November 30th 2014, total of 136 patients (instead of planned 275) in each arm were randomized; 140 (52%) were culture positive. Successful outcome at TOC was achieved in 44/136 (32%) in the meropenem arm vs. 31/135 (23%) in the SOC arm (p = 0.087). The respective numbers in patients with positive cultures were 17/63 (27%) vs. 10/77 (13%) (p = 0.022). The main reason of failure was modification of allocated therapy. Treatment emergent adverse events occurred in 72% and serious adverse events in 17% of patients, the Day 28 mortality was 6%. Cumulative acquisition of CRGNO by Day 28 occurred in 4% of patients in the meropenem and 12% in the SOC arm (p = 0.052). CONCLUSIONS: Within this study population, we found no evidence that meropenem was superior to SOC in terms of success at TOC, short term hearing disturbances, safety or mortality were similar in both treatment arms but the study was underpowered to detect the planned effect. Meropenem treatment did not select for colonization with CRGNOs. We suggest that meropenem as broad-spectrum antibiotic should be reserved for neonates who are more likely to have Gram-negative LOS, especially in NICUs where microorganisms producing extended spectrum- and AmpC type beta-lactamases are circulating

    Towards an EU Charter of the Fundamental Rights of Nature

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    This Study aims to set a framework for the legal recognition of the Rights of Nature in the EU legal order, as a prerequisite for a different and improved relationship between human beings and Nature. This aim should be possibly accomplished through the development of a EU Charter on Fundamental Rights of Nature. Initially, the Study shows the role of Rights of Nature with respect to environmental protection goals and addresses the reasons why current EU Environmental Law is failing to deliver the required level of nature protection (Section 2). Subsequently, the Study assesses how the "Rights of Nature" may help to overcome the failures of environmental law. To this end, four paradigmatic cases are proposed and analysed (Section 3). Based on the findings of this analysis, the strategic milestones required to achieve genuine ecosystem protection are identified and presented (Section 4). Finally, the possibility of introducing a Charter of the Rights of Nature in the EU legal system, with its basic principles, recommendable features and proposed pathway is discussed (Sections 5, 6 and 7)

    Secondary cytomegalovirus infections: How much do we still not know? Comparison of children with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus born to mothers with primary and secondary infection

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    congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection can follow primary and secondary maternal infection. growing evidence indicate that secondary maternal infections contribute to a much greater proportion of symptomatic cCMV than was previously thought. We performed a monocentric retrospective study of babies with cCMV evaluated from august 2004 to february 2021; we compared data of symptomatic children born to mothers with primary or secondary infection, both at birth and during follow up. among the 145 babies with available data about maternal infection, 53 were classified as having symptomatic cCMV and were included in the study: 40 babies were born to mothers with primary infection and 13 babies were born to mothers with secondary infection. Analyzing data at birth, we found no statistical differences in the rate of clinical findings in the two groups, except for unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) which was significantly more frequent in patients born to mother with secondary infection than in those born to mother with primary infection (46.2 vs. 17.5%, P = 0.037). during follow up, we found a higher rate of many sequelae (tetraparesis, epilepsy, motor and speech delay, and unilateral SNHL) in the group of children born to mothers with secondary infection, with a statistical difference for tetraparesis and unilateral SNHL. otherwise, only children born to mothers with primary infection presented bilateral SNHL both at birth and follow up. Our data suggest that the risk of symptomatic cCMV and long-term sequelae is similar in children born to mother with primary and secondary CMV infection; it is important to pay appropriate attention to seropositive mothers in order to prevent reinfection and to detect and possibly treat infected babies

    Putative role of circulating human papillomavirus DNA in the development of primary squamous cell carcinoma of the middle rectum: A case report

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    Here we present the case of a patient affected by rectal squamous cell carcinoma in which we demonstrated the presence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) by a variety of techniques. Collectively, the virus was detected not only in the tumor but also in some regional lymph nodes and in non-neoplastic mucosa of the upper tract of large bowel. By contrast, it was not identifiable in its common sites of entry, namely oral and ano-genital region. We also found HPV DNA in the plasma-derived exosome. Next, by in vitro studies, we confirmed the capability of HPV DNA-positive exosomes, isolated from the supernatant of a HPV DNA positive cell line (CaSki), to transfer its DNA to human colon cancer and normal cell lines. In the stroma nearby the tumor mass we were able to demonstrate the presence of virus DNA in the stromal compartment, supporting its potential to be transferred from epithelial cells to the stromal ones. Thus, this case report favors the notion that human papillomavirus DNA can be vehiculated by exosomes in the blood of neoplastic patients and that it can be transferred, at least in vitro, to normal and neoplastic cells. Furthermore, we showed the presence of viral DNA and RNA in pluripotent stem cells of non-tumor tissue, suggesting that after viral integration (as demonstrated by p16 and RNA in situ hybridization positivity), stem cells might have been activated into cancer stem cells inducing neoplastic transformation of normal tissue through the inactivation of p53, p21, and Rb. It is conceivable that the virus has elicited its oncogenic effect in this specific site and not elsewhere, despite its wide anatomical distribution in the patient, for a local condition of immune suppression, as demonstrated by the increase of T-regulatory (CD4/CD25/FOXP3 positive) and T-exhausted (CD8/PD-1positive) lymphocytes and the M2 polarization (high CD163/CD68 ratio) of macrophages in the neoplastic microenvironment. It is noteworthy that our findings depicted a static picture of a long-lasting dynamic process that might evolve in the development of tumors in other anatomical sites
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