The diurnal time-activity patterns of the Small Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) were studied between 2005 and 2006 in the Nagapattinam District of Southern India. Bee-eaters were observed to spend an average of 52.5% of their day time scanning, 21.3% feeding, 13.3% flying, 8.8% resting and 4.1% engaging in preening activities. The time spent on scanning varied among seasons in 2005 (p<0.05) and among time blocks (p<0.05), but it did not vary among years or habitats (p>0.05). The feeding patterns differed among years, seasons within years, time blocks and habitats (p<0.05). The flying habits varied among years, time blocks and habitats (p<0.05) but did not change between seasons within years (p>0.05). The resting habits differed among years and habitats (p<0.05) but did not differ among seasons within years or time blocks (p>0.05). Preening differed among years and time blocks (p<0.05) but did not vary among seasons within years or habitats (p>0.05). We conclude that several factors, such as food availability, environmental factors and predation threats, may affect the diurnal activity patterns of Bee-eaters between habitats and seasons; a further study could clarify this conclusion.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is an otology emergency and carries significant morbidity if the diagnosis is missed. It can present to any specialty but in our local setting the patient usually presents to primary care as it is easily accessible. We present a case of SSNHL that was initially presented to a primary care centre and the patient was reassured without any investigation being carried out. SSNHL has many causes thus making diagnosis difficult. However, with knowledge of its possible, a diagnosis can be made and appropriate management can be advocated to the patient. Hence, we discuss the three main causes of SSNHL, while emphasizing the immune system-mediated mechanism as the main cause in this case.
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a widely used material for transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films due to its good optical and electrical properties. Improving the optoelectronic properties of ITO films with reduced thickness is crucial and quite challenging. ITO-based multilayer films with an aluminium-silver (Al-Ag) interlayer (ITO/Al-Ag/ITO) and a pure ITO layer (as reference) were prepared by RF and DC sputtering. The microstructural, optical and electrical properties of the ITO/Al-Ag/ITO (IAAI) films were investigated before and after annealing at 400 °C. X-ray diffraction measurements show that the insertion of the Al-Ag intermediate bilayer led to the crystallization of an Ag interlayer even at the as-deposited stage. Peaks attributed to ITO(222), Ag(111) and Al(200) were observed after annealing, indicating an enhancement in crystallinity of the multilayer films. The annealed IAAI film exhibited a remarkable improvement in optical transmittance (86.1%) with a very low sheet resistance of 2.93 Ω/sq. The carrier concentration increased more than twice when the Al-Ag layer was inserted between the ITO layers. The figure of merit of the IAAI multilayer contact has been found to be high at 76.4 × 10-3 Ω-1 compared to a pure ITO contact (69.4 × 10-3 Ω-1). These highly conductive and transparent ITO films with Al-Ag interlayer can be a promising contact for low-resistance optoelectronics devices.
An immense problem affecting environmental pollution is the increase of waste tyre vehicles. In an attempt to decrease the magnitude of this issue, crumb rubber modifier (CRM) obtained from waste tyre rubber has gained interest in asphalt reinforcement. The use of crumb rubber in the reinforcement of asphalt is considered as a smart solution for sustainable development by reusing waste materials, and it is believed that crumb rubber modifier (CRM) could be an alternative polymer material in improving hot mix asphalt performance properties. In this paper, a critical review on the use of crumb rubber in reinforcement of asphalt pavement will be presented and discussed. It will also include a review on the effects of CRM on the stiffness, rutting, and fatigue resistance of road pavement construction.
Curcumin, a bioactive compound in Curcuma longa, exhibits various pharmacological activities, including antimalarial effects. In silico docking simulation studies suggest that curcumin possesses glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β)-inhibitory properties. The involvement of GSK3 in the antimalarial effects in vivo is yet to be demonstrated. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether the antimalarial effects of curcumin involve phosphorylation of host GSK3β. Intraperitoneal administration of curcumin into Plasmodium berghei NK65-infected mice resulted in dose-dependent chemosuppression of parasitemia development. At the highest dose tested (30 mg/kg body weight), both therapeutic and prophylactic administrations of curcumin resulted in suppression exceeding 50% and improved median survival time of infected mice compared to control. Western analysis revealed a 5.5-fold (therapeutic group) and 1.8-fold (prophylactic group) increase in phosphorylation of Ser 9 GSK3β and 1.6-fold (therapeutic group) and 1.7-fold (prophylactic group) increase in Ser 473 Akt in liver of curcumin-treated infected animals. Following P. berghei infection, levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-10, and IL-4 were elevated by 7.5-, 35.0-, 33.0-, and 2.2-fold, respectively. Curcumin treatment (therapeutic) caused a significant decrease (by 6.0- and 2.0-fold, respectively) in serum TNF-α and IFN-γ level, while IL-10 and IL-4 were elevated (by 1.4- and 1.8-fold). Findings from the present study demonstrate for the first time that the antimalarial action of curcumin involved inhibition of GSK3β.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute immune-mediated demyelinating disease. Early recognition of this disease is crucial as it can progress to life-threatening conditions such as respiratory failure or autonomic dysfunction. Typical clinical manifestations of GBS include progressive weakness of the limbs, bulbar, facial muscles and ophthalmoplegia. Sensory level and bladder dysfunction are more suggestive of acute myelopathy. We report a case of GBS presenting with acute urinary retention and T6 sensory level, which was successfully treated with plasma exchange.