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Community Ecology
Authors: A.F.S. Garcia, A.M. Garcia, S.R. Vollrath, F. Schneck, C.F.M. Silva, Í.J. Marchetti, and J.P. Vieira

Food partitioning among coexisting species in different habitats remains an important research topic in trophic ecology. In this work, we combined carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios and stomach content analyses to investigate differences in diet and niche overlap of two congeneric juvenile mullet species (Mugil curema and Mugil liza) coexisting in a marine surf-zone and an estuarine zone in southern Brazil (29oS). These habitats have contrasting levels of food availability, especially in terms of prey diversity, with higher microalgae diversity in the estuary than in the marine surf-zone. In these contrasting conditions, we predicted that both mullet species will have (a) higher niche overlap and smaller niche breadth at the marine surf-zone due to the common exploration of highly abundant surf-zone diatoms and (b) lower niche overlap and higher niche breadth inside the estuary due to selective feeding on more diverse food resources. Isotope niche areas (measured as standard ellipse areas) were higher in the estuary (6.10 and 6.18) than in the marine surf-zone (3.68 and 3.37) for both M. curema and M. liza, respectively. We observed an overlap of 52% in isotopic niches of both species in the marine surf-zone and none in the estuary. We also found contrasting patterns in the diet composition between species according to the habitat. At the marine surfzone, diatoms of the classes Bacillariophyceae and Coscinodiscophyceae dominated (> 99%) the food content of both mullet species. In contrast, green algae, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and flagellates comprised the diet of both species in the estuary. These results could be explained by spatial differences in food availability (especially regarding diversity of microalgae) between both habitats. At the marine site, both species explored the most abundant microalgae available (mostly the surf-zone diatom Asterionellopsis cf. guyunusae and fragments of Coscinodiscus), whereas in the estuary both species shifted their diets to explore the greater diversity of microalgae resources. Overall, our findings revealed that niche partitioning theory could not fully predict changes in breadth and overlap of food niches of estuarine dependent fish species with complex life cycles encompassing marine to estuarine systems with contrasting food availabilities.

Open access

The best alternative for reducing citrus production costs is mechanization. Machine vision is a reliable technology for the automatic inspection of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be adapted to harvesting machines. In these, fruits can be inspected before sending them to the packinghouse and machine vision provides important information for subsequent processing and avoids spending further resources in non-marketable fruit. The present work describes a computer vision system installed on a harvesting machine developed jointly by IVIA and a Spanish enterprise. In this machine, hand pickers directly drop the fruit as they collect it, which results in an important increase of productivity. The machine vision system is placed over rollers in order to inspect the produce, and separate those that can be directly sent to the fresh market from those that do not meet minimal quality requirements but can be used by the processing industry, based on color, size and the presence of surface damages. The system was tested under field conditions.

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This article reports the thermodynamic changes of lipid nanoparticles (LN) upon delivery of lipophilic vitamin E derivatives to the skin. Skin penetration of α-tocopherol (α-T) and α-tocopherol acetate (α-Ta) into and across porcine ear skin was investigated in vitro using tape-stripping test in modified Franz diffusion cells. Wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) have been used to characterize the polymorphism of the solid matrix of LN before and after in vitro skin penetration assay. Cetyl palmitate LN with a loading capacity of 20% of vitamin E derivatives (with regard to the lipid matrix) have shown the typical β’ modification of waxes, with a crystallinity index (%CI) between 30 and 40%. Mean particle size and shelf life stability was assessed by static (laser diffractometry, LD) and dynamic (photon correlation spectroscopy, PCS) light scattering techniques. Submicron-sized LN were produced, i.e., 99% of LN showed a size below 600 nm immediately after production. A mean size between 180 and 350 nm (polydispersity index < 0.25) was obtained for LN stored at both 8 and 22 °C, and this size range was kept constant for at least 20 days of shelf life. Quantification of α-T and α-Ta in the skin using tape-stripping provided a 3.4-fold increase in the level of actives within the stratum corneum (SC) and 1.3-fold increase in the viable epidermis (VE). LN increased skin penetration of both actives, following a cumulative release during 8 h in modified Franz diffusion cells. The differences in the distribution levels observed between α-T and α-Ta when delivered via LN was due to the different thermodynamic activity of both actives, i.e., following increased partition coefficient of α-Ta into SC and VE, in comparison to α-T.

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A stability-indicating liquid chromatographic (LC) method with UV detection was developed for the determination of doripenem in the marketed formulation (Doribax® 500 mg, powder for injection). A forced degradation study was conducted according to available guidelines and main references. Thermal, oxidizing, acidic and basic stress conditions were assayed to show the stability-indicating power of the method. Chromatographic separation was achieved using an isocratic elution method in a reversed-phase system using a mobile phase prepared from phosphate buffer and acetonitrile. Extensive degradation was observed under thermal, oxidative and basic treatment, and the products formed were detected without interference in the analysis of doripenem. To verify the efficiency of chromatographic run, the system suitability was studied. The theoretical plates (N = 5498.3) and tailing factor (tf = 0.951) were constant during repeated injections. The retention time of doripenem was 7.35 min and the method was validated within the concentration range 5–50 μg mL−1 (r = 0.999). Adequate results were obtained that indicate repeatability (RSD % = 1.03–1.37), inter-day precision (RSD % = 0.51) and accuracy. In comparison to spectrophotometric and microbiological methods, statistical analysis showed no significant difference between the obtained results. The proposed method was successfully applied to doripenem quantification, showing it is applicable to determine the antibiotic in the presence of degradation products and also that is a reliable method for routine analysis.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: C. Alvarado-Esquivel, S. J. Pacheco-Vega, M. Salcedo-Jaquez, L. F. Sánchez-Anguiano, J. Hernández-Tinoco, E. Rábago-Sánchez, M. M. Centeno-Tinoco, I. D. Flores-Garcia, A. Ramos-Nevarez, S. M. Cerrillo-Soto, C. A. Guido-Arreola, I. Beristain-García, O. Liesenfeld, L. O. Berumen-Segovia, L. Saenz-Soto, and A. Sifuentes-Álvarez

Through a cross-sectional study design, 150 women attending public health centers with a history of stillbirths were examined for anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies in Durango City, Mexico. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of T. gondii seropositivity with the characteristics of the women with stillbirth history.

Of the 150 women (mean age: 32.09 ± 9.16 years) studied, 14 (9.3%) had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies and six (42.9%) of them were also positive for anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies. Multivariate analysis showed that T. gondii seropositivity was associated with high frequency (4–7 days a week) of eating meat (OR = 5.52; 95% CI: 1.48–20.59; P = 0.01), history of lymphadenopathy (OR = 4.52; 95% CI: 1.14–17.82; P = 0.03), and history of surgery (OR = 8.68; 95% CI: 1.04–72.15; P = 0.04).

This is the first study on the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in women with a history of stillbirths in Mexico. The association of T. gondii exposure with a history of surgery warrants for further research. Risk factors for T. gondii infection found in the present survey may help to design optimal educational programs to avoid T. gondii infection.

Open access
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: J. D. T. Arruda-Neto, A. C. Cestari, C. B. Zamboni, M. Saiki, G. P. Nogueira, L. E. C. Fonseca, M. V. Manso-Guevara, A. Deppman, V. P. Likhachev, J. Mesa, O. A. M. Helene, S. A. C. Jorge, M. N. Martins, A. N. Gouveia, O. Rodriguez, F. Guzmán, and F. Garcia


Neutron activation analysis has been used to study uranium incorporation in poultry bones as function of chow doped with: (a) uranium (20 ppm); (b) U-doped food (20 ppm) plus phytase (120 ppm) and (c) U-doped food (20 ppm) plus phytase (180 ppm). To investigate this situation experiments involving several groups of Cobb broilers was performed. Two animals per group were sacrificed weekly up to their adultness and uranium concentration in the tibia was measured. It was observed that the concentration of uranium (µg U/g bone) is decreasing all along the animal life spanning period of 14-42 days. This behavior suggests that the skeleton mass is growing faster than the corresponding accumulation of uranium. The administration of phytase seems not to alter this scenario.

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