122,720 research outputs found

    Application of lactic acid bacteria for the biopreservation of meat products: A systematic review

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    .The increasing concern of consumers about food quality and safety and their rejection of chemical additives has promoted the breakthrough of the biopreservation field and the development of studies on the use of beneficial bacteria and their metabolites as potential natural antimicrobials for shelf life extension and enhanced food safety. Control of foodborne pathogens in meat and meat products represents a serious challenge for the food industry which can be addressed through the intelligent use of bio-compounds or biopreservatives. This article aims to systematically review the available knowledge about biological strategies based on the use of lactic acid bacteria to control the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms in different meat products. The outcome of the literature search evidenced the potential of several strains of lactic acid bacteria and their purified or semi-purified antimicrobial metabolites as biopreservatives in meat products for achieving longer shelf life or inhibiting spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, especially when combined with other technologies to achieve a synergistic effect.S

    Study on the concordance between different SNP‚Äźgenotyping platforms in sheep

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    .Different SNP genotyping technologies are commonly used in multiple studies to perform QTL detection, genotype imputation, and genomic predictions. Therefore, genotyping errors cannot be ignored, as they can reduce the accuracy of different procedures applied in genomic selection, such as genomic imputation, genomic predictions, and false-positive results in genome-wide association studies. Currently, whole-genome resequencing (WGR) also offers the potential for variant calling analysis and high-throughput genotyping. WGR might overshadow array-based genotyping technologies due to the larger amount and precision of the genomic information provided; however, its comparatively higher price per individual still limits its use in larger populations. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the accuracy of the two most popular SNP-chip technologies, namely, Affymetrix and Illumina, for high-throughput genotyping in sheep considering high-coverage WGR datasets as references. Analyses were performed using two reference sheep genome assemblies, the popular Oar_v3.1 reference genome and the latest available version Oar_rambouillet_v1.0. Our results demonstrate that the genotypes from both platforms are suggested to have high concordance rates with the genotypes determined from reference WGR datasets (96.59% and 99.51% for Affymetrix and Illumina technologies, respectively). The concordance results provided in the current study can pinpoint low reproducible markers across multiple platforms used for sheep genotyping data. Comparing results using two reference genome assemblies also informs how genome assembly quality can influence genotype concordance rates among different genotyping platforms. Moreover, we describe an efficient pipeline to test the reliability of markers included in sheep SNP-chip panels against WGR datasets available on public databases. This pipeline may be helpful for discarding low-reliability markers before exploiting genomic information for gene mapping analyses or genomic predictionS

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

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    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95‚ÄČKDa and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications

    Structural and Attitudinal Barriers to Bicycle Ownership and Cycle-Based Transport in Gauteng, South Africa

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    Policies that aim to facilitate and promote non-motorised transport (NMT), and in particular cycling, have been developed by many high-income countries facing increasingly congested roads and saturated public transport systems. Such policies are also emerging in many low- and middle-income settings where high rates of urbanisation have led to similar problems with motorised transport. The aim of the present study was to better understand the potential structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport in one such context: South Africa‚Äôs Gauteng Province, the industrial powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa that has recently made a firm commitment to NMT. The study focussed on demographic and socioeconomic variation in bicycle and car ownership, and related this to: (1) the reported use of motorised and non-motorised transport (both private and public); and (2) perceived ‚Äėproblems‚Äô with cycling. The analyses drew on interviews with key respondents from n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ27,490 households conducted in 2013 as part of the third Quality of Life survey undertaken by the Gauteng City Regional Observatory. The survey contained items on three outcomes of interest: household vehicle ownership (bicycles and cars); modes of transport used for the ‚Äútrips‚ÄĚ most often made; and respondents‚Äô ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ. Respondent- and household-level demographic and socioeconomic determinants of these outcomes were examined using descriptive and multivariable statistical analyses, the latter after adjustment for measured potential confounders identified using a theoretical causal path diagram (in the form of a directed acyclic graph). Of the n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ26,469 households providing complete data on all of the variables examined in the present study, only n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ8722 (32.9%) owned a car and fewer still (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ2244; 8.4%) owned a bicycle. The ownership of these assets was commonest amongst wealthier, economically active households; and those that owned a car had over five times the odds of also owning a bicycle, even after adjustment for potential confounding (OR 5.17; 95% CI 4.58, 5.85). Moreover, of household respondents who reported making ‚Äėtrips‚Äô during the preceding month (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ18,209), over two-thirds of those whose households owned a car (70.1%) reported private car-based transport for such trips, while only 3.2% of those owning a bicycle reported cycling. Amongst the specific responses given to the item requesting the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ by far the commonest was ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how to cycle‚ÄĚ (32.2%), less than half as many citing ‚ÄúVehicle accident risk‚ÄĚ (15.9%), and fewer still: ‚ÄúDestination is too far‚ÄĚ (13.9%); ‚ÄúCrime‚ÄĚ (10.3%); ‚ÄúToo much effort‚ÄĚ (9.2%); or ‚ÄúLack of good paths‚ÄĚ (4.6%). While the first of these reasons was commonest amongst poorer households, concerns about risk and effort were both most common amongst better educated, economically active and wealthier/better serviced households. In contrast, concerns over (cycle) paths were only common amongst those owning bicycles. The low prevalence of household bicycle ownership, and the disproportionate number of households owning bicycles that also owned cars, might explain the very small proportion of the ‚Äėthe trips most often made‚Äô that involved cycle-based transport (0.3%), and the preferential use of cars amongst households owning both bicycles and cars. Low levels of bicycle ownership might also explain why so many respondents cited ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how‚ÄĚ as the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ; although risk and effort were also substantial concerns (presumably for many who did, and some who did not, know how to cycle); the lack of suitable cycle lanes being only primarily a concern for those who actually owned bicycles. Structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport limit the use of cycle-based transport in Gauteng, not only amongst the vast majority of household respondents who lack the means to cycle (and the means to learn how), but also amongst those dissuaded from learning to cycle, purchasing a bicycle and/or using a bicycle they own by: the risks and effort involved; the lack of suitable cycle paths; and/or because they also own a car and prefer to drive than cycle

    The Idiosyncrasy of Involuntary Musical Imagery Repetition (IMIR) Experiences: The Role of Tempo and Lyrics

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    Involuntary musical imagery repetition (IMIR), colloquially known as ‚Äúearworms,‚ÄĚ is a form of musical imagery that arises involuntarily and repeatedly in the mind. A growing number of studies, based on retrospective reports, suggest that IMIR experiences are associated with certain musical features, such as fast tempo and the presence of lyrics, and with individual differences in music training and engagement. However, research to date has not directly assessed the effect of such musical features on IMIR and findings about individual differences in music training and engagement are mixed. Using a cross-sectional design (Study 1, n = 263), we examined IMIR content in terms of tempo (fast, slow) and presence of lyrics (instrumental, vocal), and IMIR characteristics (frequency, duration of episode and section) in relation to 1) the musical content (tempo and lyrics) individuals most commonly expose themselves to (music-listening habits), and 2) music training and engagement. We also used an experimental design (Study 2, n = 80) to test the effects of tempo (fast or slow) and the presence of lyrics (instrumental or vocal) on IMIR retrieval and duration. Results from Study 1 showed that the content of music that individuals are typically exposed to with regard to tempo and lyrics predicted and resembled their IMIR content, and that music engagement, but not music training, predicted IMIR frequency. Music training was, however, shown to predict the duration of IMIR episodes. In the experiment (Study 2), tempo did not predict IMIR retrieval, but the presence of lyrics influenced IMIR duration. Taken together, our findings suggest that IMIR is an idiosyncratic experience primed by the music-listening habits and music engagement of the individual

    Uso de las histonas circulantes y sus modificaciones post-traduccionales como biomarcadores en sepsis y shock séptico

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    La sepsis es una afecci√≥n potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del hu√©sped a una infecci√≥n, produciendo respuestas fisiol√≥gicas alteradas que da√Īan los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunci√≥n org√°nica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes s√©pticos progresan a shock s√©ptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metab√≥licas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunol√≥gico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresi√≥n, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatolog√≠a de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigaci√≥n para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citot√≥xicos en la sepsis, ya que act√ļan como patrones moleculares asociados a da√Īo, que inducen estr√©s oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activaci√≥n de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamaci√≥n mediante la expresi√≥n de IL-18, IL-1ő≤ and IL-1őĪ. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activaci√≥n del inflamasoma en las c√©lulas inmunes durante la sepsis, se desconoce si las histonas extracelulares son capaces de activar los inflamasomas endoteliales y sus consecuencias. En este trabajo destacamos el papel previamente desconocido de las histonas extracelulares, mediando la activaci√≥n del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las c√©lulas endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunci√≥n endotelial y la desregulaci√≥n de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, tambi√©n demostramos c√≥mo la acetilaci√≥n de histonas disminuye la activaci√≥n de la piroptosis. Adem√°s, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock s√©ptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresi√≥n de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piropt√≥ticas, la liberaci√≥n de factores de adhesi√≥n endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones cl√≠nicas. De manera similar, hemos analizado las respuestas inmunorelacionadas que ocurren durante las primeras etapas de la sepsis con el objetivo de proporcionar nuevos datos comparando las cantidades de citoquinas, inmunomoduladores y otros mediadores endoteliales en pacientes cr√≠ticamente enfermos no s√©pticos, s√©pticos y de shock s√©ptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudar√° a caracterizar r√°pidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes s√©pticos y de shock s√©ptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilaci√≥n del ADN en el control del sistema inmune s√©ptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilaci√≥n del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock s√©ptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresi√≥n, a trav√©s de la alteraci√≥n de los patrones de metilaci√≥n de los promotores de IL-10 y TREM-2.Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormal host response to an infection that produce altered physiological responses which damages own tissues of the patient and can result in organ dysfunction and in some cases death. Likewise, a subset of septic patients progresses to septic shock, characterized by substantial circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increase the risk of mortality. Sepsis is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system and it can lead to an altered immune response and immunosuppression. Moreover, the high complexity of the pathophysiology of sepsis requires of further investigation to characterize the immune responses in sepsis and septic shock. Likewise, circulating extracellular histones have gained relevance as cytotoxic mediators in sepsis pathophysiology, since they act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which induce oxidative stress and activate NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, inflammasome mediates pyroptosis activation, a programmed cell death mechanism that produces inflammation through the release of IL-18, IL-1ő≤ and IL-1őĪ. However, despite inflammasome activation may occur in immune cells during sepsis, it is unknown if this process also takes place in endothelial cells and particularly whether extracellular histones are capable of activating endothelial inflammasomes and their consequences. In this work we highlight a previously unknown role for extracellular histones, that mediates the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and pyroptosis in endothelial cells by contributing to endothelial dysfunction and the dysregulation of the immune response mediated by endothelium. Likewise, we demonstrated how histone acetylation decreases pyroptosis activation. Furthermore, we show how pyroptosis occurs in septic shock patients and how circulating histone levels correlate with the expression of pro-inflammatory and pyroptotic cytokines, the release of endothelial adhesion factors and septic shock severity. We propose histone-mediated pyroptosis as a new target to develop clinical interventions. Similarly, we have analyzed the immune-related responses occurring during the early stages of sepsis with the aim of providing new data by comparing the amounts of cytokines, immune modulators and other endothelial mediators in critically-ill non-septic patients, septic and septic shock patients. Our approach will help to rapidly characterize the altered immune responses in septic and septic shock patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Finally, we also analyzed the role of DNA methylation in the control of septic immune system. Our results demonstrated the central role of DNA methylation modulating the molecular response in septic shock patients and contributing to immunosuppression, through the alteration of DNA methylation patterns of IL-10 and TREM2 promoters
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