1,255 research outputs found

    Humanized mice in dengue research: a comparison with other mouse models

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    Abstract: Dengue virus (DENV) is an arbovirus of the Flaviviridae family and is an enveloped virion containing a positive sense single-stranded RNA genome. DENV causes dengue fever (DF) which is characterized by an undifferentiated syndrome accompanied by fever, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, and in severe cases, patients can deteriorate and develop life-threatening vascular leakage, bleeding, and multi-organ failure. DF is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease affecting more than 390 million people per year with a mortality rate close to 1% in the general population but especially high among children. There is no specific treatment and there is only one licensed vaccine with restricted application. Clinical and experimental evidence advocate the role of the humoral and T-cell responses in protection against DF, as well as a role in the disease pathogenesis. A lot of pro-inflammatory factors induced during the infectious process are involved in increased severity in dengue disease. The advances in DF research have been hampered by the lack of an animal model that recreates all the characteristics of this disease. Experiments in nonhuman primates (NHP) had failed to reproduce all clinical signs of DF disease and during the past decade, humanized mouse models have demonstrated several benefits in the study of viral diseases affecting humans. In DENV studies, some of these models recapitulate specific signs of disease that are useful to test drugs or vaccine candidates. However, there is still a need for a more complete model mimicking the full spectrum of DENV. This review focuses on describing the advances in this area of research

    Catalytic Decomposition of n-C-7 Asphaltenes Using Tungsten Oxides-Functionalized SiO2 Nanoparticles in Steam/Air Atmospheres

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    A wide range of technologies are being developed to increase oil recovery, reserves, and perform in situ upgrading of heavy crude oils. In this study, supported tungsten oxide nanoparticles were synthesized, characterized, and evaluated for adsorption and catalytic performance during wet in situ combustion (6% of steam in the air, in volumetric fraction) of n-C-7 asphaltenes. Silica nanoparticles of 30 nm in diameter were synthesized using a sol-gel methodology and functionalized with tungsten oxides, using three different concentrations and calcination temperatures: 1%, 3%, 5% (mass fraction), and 350 degrees C, 450 degrees C, and 650 degrees C, respectively. Equilibrium batch adsorption experiments were carried out at 25 celcius with model solutions of n-C-7 asphaltenes diluted in toluene at concentrations from 100 mg center dot L-1 to 2000 mg center dot L-1, and catalytic wet in situ combustion of adsorbed heavy fractions was carried out by thermogravimetric analysis coupled to FT-IR. The results showed improvements of asphaltenes decomposition by the action of the tungsten oxide nanoparticles due to the reduction in the decomposition temperature of the asphaltenes up to 120 degrees C in comparison with the system in the absence of WOX nanoparticles. Those synthesis parameters, such as temperature and impregnation dosage, play an important role in the adsorptive and catalytic activity of the materials, due to the different WOX-support interactions as were found through XPS. The mixture released during the catalyzed asphaltene decomposition in the wet air atmosphere reveals an increase in light hydrocarbons, methane, and hydrogen content. Hydrogen production was prioritized between 300 and 400 degrees C where, similarly, the reduction of CO, CH4, and the increase in CO2 content, associated with water-gas shift, and methane reforming reactions occur, respectively. The results show that these catalysts can be used either for in situ upgrading of crude oil, or any application where heavy fractions must be transformed

    Two new glassfrogs (Centrolenidae: Hyalinobatrachium) from Ecuador, with comments on the endangered biodiversity of the Andes.

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    Background The Tropical Andes is the world's most biodiverse hotspot. This region contains >1,000 amphibian species, more than half of which are endemic. Herein we describe two new glassfrog species (Centrolenidae: Hyalinobatrachium) that we discovered within relatively unexplored and isolated localities of the Ecuadorian Andes. Methods We employed morphological, acoustic, and molecular methods to test the hypothesis that Hyalinobatrachium mashpi sp. nov and H. nouns sp. nov. are species new to science. Following standard methods, we generated mitochondrial sequences (16S) of 37 individuals in the genus Hyalinobatrachium. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of the two new species in comparison to all other glassfrogs using Maximum Likelihood. In addition to describing the call of H. mashpi sp. nov., we performed a discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) with the advertisement call characteristics of several congeners. Results Based on an integrative taxonomy approach, we describe two new species. Morphological traits and the inferred phylogeny unambiguously place the new taxa in the genus Hyalinobatrachium. Both species are distinguished from other glassfrogs mainly by their dorsal coloration (i.e., dorsum lime green with small light yellow spots, head usually with interorbital bar) and transparent pericardium (i.e., the heart is visible through the ventral skin). The new species exhibit a high morphological similarity (i.e., cryptic) and occur within relatively close geographical proximity (closest aerial distance = 18.9 km); however, their uncorrected p distance for the mitochondrial gene 16S is 4.6-4.7%, a value that greatly exceeds the genetic distance between closely related species of centrolenid frogs. The DAPC revealed that the advertisement call of H. mashpi sp. nov. is acoustically distinct. Discussion Our findings are congruent with several previous studies that report a high degree of endemism in the Tois√°n mountain range, which appears to be isolated from the main Andean cordillera for some amphibian groups. We recommend that both H. mashpi sp. nov. and H. nouns sp. nov. be listed as Endangered, following IUCN criteria. These new species provide another example of cryptic diversity in the Andes-further evidence that the region fosters much more biodiversity than we have the resources to catalog. Threatened by mining and other exploitative industries, these glassfrogs and many other yet-to-be-discovered Andean species highlight the dire need for effective conservation measures-especially in northwestern Ecuador

    Software para el cálculo de la huella ambiental en la producción de cacao

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    El presente artículo contiene aspectos importantes en las diferentes etapas del cultivo de cacao, además, los componentes representativos, agentes involucrados e indicadores para el cálculo de la huella de carbono e hídrica, que mejora el sistema de producción de la comunidad de cacaocultores del Huila con el desarrollo de un Software el cual, se aborda con una metodología ágil a través del método SCRUM. En la etapa de análisis se toma las variables involucradas en la producción de cacao, y las normativas ambientales internacionales vigente

    √Āvila: acceso v√≠a Internet a los laboratorios

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    √ĀVILA es una herramienta desarrollada dentro del Departamento de Tecnolog√≠a Electr√≥nica para acceder a los laboratorios de Redes y Comunicaciones v√≠a Internet. El objetivo m√°s importante que se ha perseguido con esta herramienta es permitir a los alumnos realizar pr√°cticas de laboratorio de manera remota, ya que se tiene un acceso completo a los equipos de comunicaciones como si se estuviera in sit

    Active flux seasonality of the small dominant migratory crustaceans and mesopelagic fishes in the Gulf of California during June and October

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    The biological carbon pump is the process that transports carbon vertically out of the mixed layer in the ocean. Besides the sinking flux of organic particles, active flux due to the daily vertical migration of zooplankton and micronekton promotes a significant carbon transport not fully accounted for or understood in the world‚Äôs oceans. The diversity and abundance of epipelagic and mesopelagic species in the Gulf of California has been extensively studied, but the role of micronekton in carbon export has not yet been investigated. We studied the carbon flux promoted by juvenile and adult mesopelagic fishes and crustaceans (Decapoda and Euphausiidae) during the transition from the cold to warm period (June) and the onset of the warm season (October) in 2018. We provide the first estimation of migrant biomass and respiratory flux of the most abundant migratory species of mesopelagic fishes, decapods and euphausiids in the Gulf of California. The micronekton species collected accounted for a large biomass of mesopelagic fishes and pelagic crustaceans. The average migrant biomass estimates were 151.5 ¬Ī 101.2 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2 during June and 90.9 ¬Ī 75.3 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2 during October. The enzymatic activity of the electron transfer system (ETS) was measured as an estimate of their respiratory rates. Average specific ETS activity was significantly different between fishes and decapods, and between fishes and euphausiids (p < 0.05). The respiratory flux of fishes was predominant in the Gulf of California, followed by pelagic decapods and euphausiids. Seasonal changes in respiratory flux were observed for fishes (June: 6.1 ¬Ī 1.5 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1; October: 3.2 ¬Ī 1.8 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1) and decapods (June: 0.4 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1; October: 0.7 ¬Ī 0.05 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1). Respiratory flux estimation by crustaceans (decapods and euphausiids) and fishes together was 6.86 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1 during June, and 4.21 mg C¬∑m‚ąí2¬∑d‚ąí1 during October 2018, suggesting a functional role of this large micronektonic fauna in the biological carbon export in this region.3,26

    Development of a thermostable, multivalent filovirus vaccine based on recombinant subunit proteins

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    Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is the most prominent example of filovirus disease but despite being characterized as a Category A Priority Pathogen by NIH/NIAID over a decade ago, it lacked public and private research resources due to the absence of a commercial market. Transmission from wild animals into the human population typically causes outbreaks of limited scale in endemic areas located in the forested regions of Central Africa and the Philippines (for Reston ebolavirus). In the past decade, a Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV) outbreak causing more than 11,000 deaths in several West African countries started to reveal the true epidemic potential that filovirus infections can have when entering an urban setting in a highly mobile society. In addition a persistent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has continued since August 2018 despite significant progress with the clinical development of several EBOV vaccine candidates (one of which recently gained regulatory approvals in Europe, the U.S. and several African countries) and the advanced testing of promising EBOV specific therapeutics. Despite this significant progress, additional research is needed in particular on understanding the mechanism of protection and defining immune correlates of protection for Ebola and other filoviruses do develop fast and efficacious strategies for outbreak control as the incidence of outbreaks and total case numbers has significantly increased over the last decadesPlease click Download on the upper right corner to see the full abstract

    Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of a Squash leaf curl virus isolate from Baja California Sur, Mexico

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    Background The begomovirus, squash leaf curl virus (SLCuV) is one of the causal agents of squash leaf curl (SLC) disease, which is among the most destructive diseases of cucurbit crops in tropical, subtropical, and semiarid regions worldwide. This disease was originally reported in the American continent with subsequent spread to the Mediterranean basin. Up to now, SLCuV has only been detected by PCR in Mexico. This study provides the first complete sequence of a Mexican SLCuV isolate from Baja California Sur (BCS). In addition, the genome of the virus was characterized, establishing its phylogenetic relationship with other SLCuV isolates. Methods The full genome (DNA-A and DNA-B) was amplified by rolling circle amplification, cloned and sequenced and the open reading frames (ORF) were annotated. Virus identification was performed according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) criteria for begomovirus species demarcation. To infer evolutionary relationship with other SLCuV isolates, phylogenetic and recombination analyses were performed. Results The SLCuV-[MX-BCS-La Paz-16] genome (DNA-A and DNA-B) had 99% identity with SLCuV reference genomes. The phylogenetic analysis showed that SLCuV-[MX-BCS-La Paz-16] is closely related to SLCuV isolates from the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon). No evidence of interspecific recombination was determined and iterons were 100% identical in all isolates in the SLCuV clade. Conclusions SLCuV-[MX-BCS-La Paz-16] showed low genetic variability in its genome, which could be due to a local adaptation process (isolate environment), suggesting that SLCuV isolates from the Middle East could have derived from the southwestern United States of America (USA) and northwestern Mexico

    Role of B Cell Profile for Predicting Secondary Autoimmunity in Patients Treated With Alemtuzumab

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    UDHEBRONTo explore if baseline blood lymphocyte profile could identify relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients at higher risk of developing secondary autoimmune adverse events (AIAEs) after alemtuzumab treatment. Multicenter prospective study including 57 RRMS patients treated with alemtuzumab followed for 3.25 [3.5-4.21] years, (median [interquartile range]). Blood samples were collected at baseline, and leukocyte subsets determined by flow cytometry. We had additional samples one year after the first cycle of alemtuzumab treatment in 39 cases. Twenty-two patients (38.6%) developed AIAEs during follow-up. They had higher B-cell percentages at baseline (p=0.0014), being differences mainly due to plasmablasts/plasma cells (PB/PC, p=0.0011). Those with no AIAEs had higher percentages of CD4+ T cells (p=0.013), mainly due to terminally differentiated (TD) (p=0.034) and effector memory (EM) (p=0.031) phenotypes. AIAEs- patients also showed higher values of TNF-alpha-producing CD8+ T cells (p=0.029). The percentage of PB/PC was the best variable to differentiate both groups of patients. Baseline values >0.10% closely associated with higher AIAE risk (Odds ratio [OR]: 5.91, 95% CI: 1.83-19.10, p=0.004). When excluding the 12 patients with natalizumab, which decreases blood PB/PC percentages, being the last treatment before alemtuzumab, baseline PB/PC >0.1% even predicted more accurately the risk of AIAEs (OR: 11.67, 95% CI: 2.62-51.89, p=0.0007). The AIAEs+ group continued having high percentages of PB/PC after a year of alemtuzumab treatment (p=0.0058). A PB/PC percentage <0.1% at baseline identifies MS patients at low risk of secondary autoimmunity during alemtuzumab treatment.
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