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Occurrence of pharmaceuticals and cocaine in a Brazilian coastal zone. - The Science of the total environment
The present study determined environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals, cocaine, and the main human metabolite of cocaine in seawater sampled from a subtropical coastal zone (Santos, Brazil). The Santos Bay is located in a metropolitan region and receives over 7367m(3) of wastewater per day. Five sample points under strong influence of the submarine sewage outfall were chosen. Through quantitative analysis by LC-MS/MS, 33 compounds were investigated. Seven pharmaceuticals (atenolol, acetaminophen, caffeine, losartan, valsartan, diclofenac, and ibuprofen), an illicit drug (cocaine), and its main human metabolite (benzoylecgonine) were detected at least once in seawater sampled from Santos Bay at concentrations that ranged from ngÂ·L(-1) to Î¼gÂ·L(-1). In light of the possibility of bioaccumulation and harmful effects, the high concentrations of pharmaceuticals and cocaine found in this marine subtropical ecosystem are of environmental concern.Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hydrogeochemistry of arsenic pollution in watersheds influenced by gold mining activities in Paracatu (Minas Gerais State, Brazil). - Environmental science and pollution research international
The aim of this study is to evaluate total arsenic (As) concentrations in drinking water (main pathway of human exposure) and its hydrogeochemical controls in the "Morro do Ouro" gold mine region, which is the largest gold mine in Brazil, characterized by gold-arsenopyrite association. Arsenic concentration was generally below the detection limit (LODâ€‰<â€‰0.5Â Î¼gÂ L(-1)). Thus, water ingestion may not be a significant exposure pathway to local population. Low groundwater As concentrations (<1Â Î¼gÂ L(-1)) are likely due to ore body structural setting, which plunges from 10Â° to >20Â°, being readily covered by thick phyllites that are poor in As some hundreds of meters away from the mine. Thirty-five percent of As levels in superficial waters (<0.5 to 40Â Î¼gÂ L(-1)) were >10Â Î¼gÂ L(-1), which is the maximum permissible value for human ingestion. The highest concentrations were found nearby mine facilities and old artisanal mining areas surrounding the mine, decreasing downstream. Undisturbed watersheds showed As concentrations close to LOD. Hydrogeochemical data stress the sorption (adsorption and co-precipitation) of As role, mainly by Fe oxyhydroxides, as a geochemical filter that retains As, attenuating its concentration in both superficial and groundwater. Such minerals are abundant in the region oxisols, sediments, and phyllites and may form stable mineral complexes with As under the pH (mostly neutral) and Eh (reduced environment) conditions found in the field. It has been demonstrated that As(III) (more toxic) and As(V) co-exist in the analyzed waters and that As(V) predominates in superficial water.
An improved limit on the charge of antihydrogen from stochastic acceleration. - Nature
Antimatter continues to intrigue physicists because of its apparent absence in the observable Universe. Current theory requires that matter and antimatter appeared in equal quantities after the Big Bang, but the Standard Model of particle physics offers no quantitative explanation for the apparent disappearance of half the Universe. It has recently become possible to study trapped atoms of antihydrogen to search for possible, as yet unobserved, differences in the physical behaviour of matter and antimatter. Here we consider the charge neutrality of the antihydrogen atom. By applying stochastic acceleration to trapped antihydrogen atoms, we determine an experimental bound on the antihydrogen charge, Qe, of |Q|â€‰<â€‰0.71 parts per billion (one standard deviation), in which e is the elementary charge. This bound is a factor of 20 less than that determined from the best previous measurement of the antihydrogen charge. The electrical charge of atoms and molecules of normal matter is known to be no greater than about 10(-21)e for a diverse range of species including H2, He and SF6. Charge-parity-time symmetry and quantum anomaly cancellation demand that the charge of antihydrogen be similarly small. Thus, our measurement constitutes an improved limit and a test of fundamental aspects of the Standard Model. If we assume charge superposition and use the best measured value of the antiproton charge, then we can place a new limit on the positron charge anomaly (the relative difference between the positron and elementary charge) of about one part per billion (one standard deviation), a 25-fold reduction compared to the current best measurement.
Development of a first-contact protocol to guide assessment of adult patients in rehabilitation services networks. - Brazilian journal of physical therapy
This paper describes the development of the Protocol for Identification of Problems for Rehabilitation (PLPR), a tool to standardize collection of functional information based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Development of the protocol : The PLPR was developed for use during the initial contact with adult patients within a public network of rehabilitation services. Steps to develop the protocol included: survey of the ICF codes most used by clinical professionals; compilation of data from functional instruments; development and pilot testing of a preliminary version in the service settings; discussion with professionals and development of the final version. The final version includes: user identification; social and health information; brief functional description (BFD); summary of the BFD; and PLPR results. Further testing of the final version will be conducted.The protocol standardizes the first contact between the user and the rehabilitation service. Systematic use of the protocol could also help to create a functional database that would allow comparisons between rehabilitation services and countries over time.
3,1-Benzothiazines, 1,4-Benzodioxines and 1,4-Benzoxazines as Inhibitors of Matriptase-2: Outcome of a Focused Screening Approach. - Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland)
The liver enzyme matriptase-2 is a multi-domain, transmembrane serine protease with an extracellular, C-terminal catalytic domain. Synthetic low-molecular weight inhibitors of matriptase-2 have potential as therapeutics to treat iron overload syndromes, in particular in patients with Î²-thalassemia. A sub-library of 64 compounds was screened for matriptase-2 inhibition and several active compounds were identified. (S)-Ethyl 2-(benzyl(3-((4-carbamidoylphenoxy)methyl)-2,3-dihydrobenzo[b][1,4]dioxin-6-yl)amino)-2-oxoacetate ((S)-12) showed an IC50 value of less than 10 ÂµM. Structure-activity relationships were discussed and proposals to design new matriptase-2 inhibitors were made.
Clinical and Virologic Outcomes After Changes in First Antiretroviral Regimen at 7 Sites in the Caribbean, Central and South America Network. - Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
HIV-infected persons in resource-limited settings may experience high rates of antiretroviral therapy (ART) change, particularly because of toxicity or other nonfailure reasons. Few reports address patient outcomes after these modifications.HIV-infected adults from the 7 Caribbean, Central and South America network clinical cohorts who modified >1 drug from the first ART regimen (ART-1) for any reason thereby starting a second regimen (ART-2) were included. We assessed cumulative incidence of, and factors associated with, death, virologic failure (VF), and regimen change after starting ART-2.Five thousand five hundred sixty-five ART-naive highly active ART initiators started ART-2 after a median of 9.8 months on ART-1; 39% changed to ART-2 because of toxicity and 11% because of failure. Median follow-up after starting ART-2 was 2.9 years; 45% subsequently modified ART-2. Cumulative incidences of death at 1, 3, and 5 years after starting ART-2 were 5.1%, 8.4%, and 10.5%, respectively. In adjusted analyses, death was associated with older age, clinical AIDS, lower CD4 at ART-2 start, earlier calendar year, and starting ART-2 because of toxicity (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.5 vs. failure, 95% confidence interval: 1.0 to 2.1). Cumulative incidences of VF after 1, 3, and 5 years were 9%, 19%, and 25%. In adjusted analyses, VF was associated with younger age, earlier calendar year, lower CD4 at the start of ART-2, and starting ART-2 because of failure (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.1 vs. toxicity, 95% confidence interval: 1.5 to 2.8).Among patients modifying the first ART regimen, risks of subsequent modifications, mortality, and virologic failure were high. Access to improved antiretrovirals in the region is needed to improve initial treatment success.
Mono or polycrystalline alumina-modified hybrid ceramics. - Dental materials : official publication of the Academy of Dental Materials
This study evaluated the effect of addition of alumina particles (polycrystalline or monocrystalline), with or without silica coating, on the optical and mechanical properties of a porcelain.Groups tested were: control (C), polycrystalline alumina (PA), polycrystalline alumina-silica (PAS), monocrystalline alumina (MA), monocrystalline alumina-silica (MAS). Polycrystalline alumina powder was synthesized using a polymeric precursor method; a commercially available monocrystalline alumina powder (sapphire) was acquired. Silica coating was obtained by immersing alumina powders in a tetraethylorthosilicate solution, followed by heat-treatment. Electrostatic stable suspension method was used to ensure homogenous dispersion of the alumina particles within the porcelain powder. The ceramic specimens were obtained by heat-pressing. Microstructure, translucency parameter, contrast ratio, opalescence index, porosity, biaxial flexural strength, roughness, and elastic constants were characterized.A better interaction between glass matrix and silica coated crystalline particles is suggested in some analyses, yet further investigation is needed to confirm it. The materials did not present significant differences in biaxial flexural strength, due to the presence of higher porosity in the groups with alumina addition. Elastic modulus was higher for MA and MAS groups. Also, these were the groups with optical qualities and roughness closer to control. The PA and PAS groups were considerably more opaque as well as rougher.Porcelains with addition of monocrystalline particles presented superior esthetic qualities compared to those with polycrystalline particles. In order to eliminate the porosity in the ceramic materials investigated herein, processing parameters need to be optimized as well as different glass frites should be tested.Copyright Â© 2015 Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fractographic principles applied to Y-TZP mechanical behavior analysis. - Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of fractography principles to determine the fracture toughness of Y-TZP dental ceramic in which KIc was measured fractographically using controlled-flaw beam bending techniques and to correlate the flaw distribution with the mechanical properties. The Y-TZP blocks studied were: Zirconia Zirklein (ZZ); Zirconcad (ZCA); IPS e.max ZirCad (ZMAX); and In Ceram YZ (ZYZ). Samples were prepared (16mmÃ—4mmÃ—2mm) according to ISO 6872 specifications and subjected to three-point bending at a crosshead speed of 0.5mm/min. Weibull probability curves (95% confidence bounds) were calculated and a contour plot with the Weibull modulus (m) versus characteristic strength (Ïƒ0) was used to examine the differences among groups. The fractured surface of each specimen was inspected in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for qualitative and quantitative fractographic analysis. The critical defect size (c) and fracture toughness (KIc) were estimated. The fractured surfaces of the samples from all groups showed similar fractographic characteristics, except ZCA showed pores and defects. Fracture toughness and the flexural strength values were not different among the groups except for ZCA. The characteristic strength (p<0.05) of ZZ (Î·=920.4) was higher than the ZCA (Î·=651.1) and similar to the ZMAX (Î·=983.6) and ZYZ (Î·=1054.8). By means of quantitative and qualitative fractographic analysis, this study showed fracture toughness and strength that could be correlated to the observable microstructural features of the evaluated zirconia polycrystalline ceramics.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fatigue behavior of Y-TZP ceramic after surface treatments. - Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of three surface treatments on the biaxial flexural strength before and after mechanical cycling, and fatigue limit of a Y-TZP ceramic.Disc-shaped specimens were produced and three surface conditions were tested: CT (as-sintered, untreated), GL (thin layer of porcelain glaze), and AA (air abrasion with 30Âµm silica particles). Profilometric and phase transformation analyses were performed. Disks were submitted to biaxial flexural strength (BFS) before and after mechanical cycling (100N, 2Ã—10(6) cycles) and staircase approach (n=20). The flexural fatigue limits (FFLs) were obtained at 10(2), 10(3), 10(4) and 10(5) cycles.Tetragonal to monoclinic transformation was only observed for AA group (9.46% of monoclinic phase). Glazed group presented the highest Ra values. Flexural strength was higher for AA group; CT and GL groups were similar. The reliability was similar between groups. The mechanical cycling at 100N did not affected flexural strength. FFLs were higher for AA group, and the three surface treatments presented decrease in strength according to the increase in number o cycles.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
New PPARÎ³ partial agonist improves obesity-induced metabolic alterations and atherosclerosis in LDLr(-/-) mice. - Pharmacological research
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARÎ³) regulates multiple pathways involved in the pathogenesis of obesity and atherosclerosis. Here, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of GQ-177, a new thiazolidinedione, on diet-induced obesity and atherosclerosis. The intermolecular interaction between PPARÎ³ and GQ-177 was examined by virtual docking and PPAR activation was determined by reporter gene assay identifying GQ-177 as a partial and selective PPARÎ³ agonist. For the evaluation of biological activity of GQ-177, low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLr(-/-)) C57/BL6 mice were fed either a high fat diabetogenic diet (diet-induced obesity), or a high fat atherogenic diet, and treated with vehicle, GQ-177 (20mg/kg/day), pioglitazone (20mg/kg/day, diet-induced obesity model) or rosiglitazone (15mg/kg/day, atherosclerosis model) for 28 days. In diet-induced obesity mice, GQ-177 improved insulin sensitivity and lipid profile, increased plasma adiponectin and GLUT4 mRNA in adipose tissue, without affecting body weight, food consumption, fat accumulation and bone density. Moreover, GQ-177 enhanced hepatic mRNA levels of proteins involved in lipid metabolism. In the atherosclerosis mice, GQ-177 inhibited atherosclerotic lesion progression, increased plasma HDL and mRNA levels of PPARÎ³ and ATP-binding cassette A1 in atherosclerotic lesions. GQ-177 acts as a partial PPARÎ³ agonist that improves obesity-associated insulin resistance and dyslipidemia with atheroprotective effects in LDLr(-/-) mice.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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