Publications by authors named "Pedro Lima"

78 Publications

Influence of a slow-start on overall performance and running kinematics during 6-h ultramarathon races.

Eur J Sport Sci 2020 Apr 16;20(3):347-356. Epub 2019 Jun 16.

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent, Chatham, UK.

The aim of this study was to describe the pacing during a 6-h ultramarathon (race 1) and to investigate whether a slow-start affects performance, running kinematic changes, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and fatigue (ROF) (race 2). After a critical speed test, participants completed two 6-h ultramarathons. Race 1 ( = 16) was self-paced, whereas in race 2 ( = 10), athletes performed the initial 36 min at speeds 18% below the mean speed of the initial 36 min of race 1. In race 1, participants adopted an inverse sigmoid pacing. Contact times increased after 1 h, and flight times decreased after 30 min (all ≤ .009); stride length reduced after 1 h 30 min (all = .022), and stride frequency did not change. Despite the lower speeds during the first 10% of race 2, and higher speeds at 50% and 90%, performance remained unchanged (57.5 ± 10.2 vs. 56.3 ± 8.5 km; = .298). However, RPE and ROF were lowered for most of race 2 duration (all  < .001). For the comparison of kinematic variables between races, data were normalised by absolute running speed at each time point from 1 h onwards. No differences were found for any of the kinematic variables. In conclusion, decreasing initial speed minimises RPE and ROF, but does not necessarily affect performance. In addition, running kinematic changes do not seem to be affected by pacing manipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2019.1627422DOI Listing
April 2020

Useful plants and their relation to archaeological sites in the Serra de Carajás, Brazil.

An Acad Bras Cienc 2019 8;91(1):e20170909. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Coordenação de Botânica, Av. Perimetral, 1901, Terra Firme, 66077-830 Belém, PA, Brazil.

Multidisciplinary studies including archeology and ethnobotany that seek to understand human interventions on the landscape have obtained important results concerning Amazon biodiversity. This study aims to identify the useful plants in different phytophysiognomies related to archeological sites in the Serra de Carajás, in the state of Pará, as well as expand knowledge of the local flora. Information was collected in 76 parcels located in the influence areas of 15 archaeological sites: 45 in forest vegetation, 30 in canga vegetation and 1 in palm swamps. The species were categorized as either medicinal, food, game attractants, firewood, toxic, ritualistic and material. An assessment of the plants use potential by family was done using regression analysis for the taxa inventoried. All the phytophysiognomies studied in the vicinity of archaeological sites were expressive regarding useful species. The most representative categories were medicinal, material, game attractant, firewood and food. The floristic features related to the use of plant species by family were also expressive for Fabaceae, Myrtaceae and Chrysobalanaceae. The phytophysiognomies identified near archaeological sites feature several plant resources in different use categories, highlighting the value of local ecosystems and their potential for human use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201920170909DOI Listing
May 2019

Project INSIDE: towards autonomous semi-unstructured human-robot social interaction in autism therapy.

Artif Intell Med 2019 05 28;96:198-216. Epub 2018 Dec 28.

Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal.

This paper describes the INSIDE system, a networked robot system designed to allow the use of mobile robots as active players in the therapy of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While a significant volume of work has explored the impact of robots in ASD therapy, most such work comprises remotely operated robots and/or well-structured interaction dynamics. In contrast, the INSIDE system allows for complex, semi-unstructured interaction in ASD therapy while featuring a fully autonomous robot. In this paper we describe the hardware and software infrastructure that supports such rich form of interaction, as well as the design methodology that guided the development of the INSIDE system. We also present some results on the use of our system both in pilot and in a long-term study comprising multiple therapy sessions with children at Hospital Garcia de Orta, in Portugal, highlighting the robustness and autonomy of the system as a whole.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.artmed.2018.12.003DOI Listing
May 2019

Feeding cycle alters the biophysics and molecular expression of voltage-gated Na currents in rat hippocampal CA1 neurones.

Eur J Neurosci 2019 06 27;49(11):1418-1435. Epub 2019 Jan 27.

Department of Physiology, Nova Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Lisbon, Portugal.

The function of hippocampus as a hub for energy balance is a subject of broad and current interest. This study aims at providing more evidence on this regard by addressing the effects of feeding cycle on the voltage-gated sodium (Na ) currents of acutely isolated Wistar rat hippocampal CA1 neurones. Specifically, by applying patch clamp techniques (whole cell voltage clamp and single channel in inside-out patches) we assessed the influence of feeding and fasting conditions on the intrinsic biophysical properties of Na currents. Additionally, mass spectrometry and western blotting experiments were used to address the effect of feeding cycle over the Na channel population of the rat hippocampus. Na currents were recorded in neurones obtained from fed and fasted animals (here termed "fed neurones" and "fasted neurones", respectively). Whole cell Na currents of fed neurones, as compared to fasted neurones, showed increased mean maximum current density and a higher "window current" amplitude. We demonstrate that these results are supported by an increased single channel Na conductance in fed neurones and, also, by a greater Nav1.2 channel density in plasma membrane-enriched fractions of fed samples (but not in whole hippocampus preparations). These results imply fast variations on the biophysics and molecular expression of Na currents of rat hippocampal CA1 neurones, throughout the feeding cycle. Thus, one may expect a differentiated regulation of the intrinsic neuronal excitability, which may account for the role of the hippocampus as a processor of satiety information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14331DOI Listing
June 2019

Immediate effects of diaphragmatic myofascial release on the physical and functional outcomes in sedentary women: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.

J Bodyw Mov Ther 2018 Oct 25;22(4):924-929. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Department of Physical Therapy, Fortaleza, Ceará, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

Background: Although diaphragmatic myofascial release techniques are widely used in clinical practice, few studies have evaluated the simultaneous acute effects of these techniques on the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.

Objective: To evaluate the immediate effects of diaphragmatic myofascial release in sedentary women on the posterior chain muscle flexibility; lumbar spine range of motion; respiratory muscle strength; and chest wall mobility.

Design: A randomized placebo-controlled trial with concealed allocation, intention-to-treat analysis, and blinding of assessors and participants.

Participants: Seventy-five sedentary women aged between 18 and 35 years.

Intervention: The sample was randomly allocated into one of two groups; the experimental group received two diaphragmatic myofascial release techniques in a single session, and the control group received two placebo techniques following the same regimen.

Outcomes Measures: The primary outcome was chest wall mobility, which was analyzed using cirtometry. The secondary outcomes were flexibility, lumbar spine range of motion, and respiratory muscle strength. Outcomes were measured before and immediately after treatment.

Results: The manual diaphragm release techniques significantly improved chest wall mobility immediately after intervention, with a between-group difference of 0.61 cm (95% CI, 0.12-1.1) for the axillary region, 0.49 cm (95% CI, 0.03-0.94) for the xiphoid region, and 1.44 (95% CI, 0.88-2.00) for the basal region. The techniques also significantly improved the posterior chain muscle flexibility, with a between-group difference of 5.80 cm (95% CI, 1.69-9.90). All movements except flexion of the lumbar spine significantly increased. The effects on respiratory muscle strength were non-significant.

Conclusion: The diaphragmatic myofascial release techniques improve chest wall mobility, posterior chain muscle flexibility, and some movements of the lumbar spine in sedentary women. These techniques could be considered in the management of people with reduced chest wall and lumbar mobility.

Trial Registration: NCT03065283.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.10.008DOI Listing
October 2018

Secondary Metabolites and Biological Activity of Invasive Macroalgae of Southern Europe.

Mar Drugs 2018 Aug 2;16(8). Epub 2018 Aug 2.

LAQV-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal.

In this review a brief description of the invasive phenomena associated with algae and its consequences on the ecosystem are presented. Three examples of invasive algae of Southern Europe, belonging to , , and , were selected, and a brief description of each genus is presented. A full description of their secondary metabolites and biological activity is given and a summary of the biological activity of extracts is also included. In we encounter mainly halogenated compounds. From , several terpenoids and alkaloids were isolated, while in , meroterpenoids prevail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md16080265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117733PMC
August 2018

Rupture of a true brachial artery aneurysm in a kidney transplant patient after arteriovenous fistula ligation: A rare presentation of an unusual disease.

J Vasc Access 2019 01 30;20(1):107-108. Epub 2018 May 30.

Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Coimbra University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1129729818776900DOI Listing
January 2019

CORNICHON sorting and regulation of GLR channels underlie pollen tube Ca homeostasis.

Science 2018 05;360(6388):533-536

University of Maryland Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, 0118 Bioscience Research Building, 4066 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20742-5815, USA.

Compared to animals, evolution of plant calcium (Ca) physiology has led to a loss of proteins for influx and small ligand-operated control of cytosolic Ca, leaving many Ca mechanisms unaccounted for. Here, we show a mechanism for sorting and activation of glutamate receptor-like channels (GLRs) by CORNICHON HOMOLOG (CNIH) proteins. Single mutants of pollen-expressed GLRs (GLRs) showed growth and Ca flux phenotypes expected for plasma membrane Ca channels. However, higher-order mutants of GLR3.3 revealed phenotypes contradicting this assumption. These discrepancies could be explained by subcellular GLR localization, and we explored the implication of CNIHs in this sorting. We found that GLRs interact with CNIH pairs, yielding specific intracellular localizations. CNIHs further trigger GLR activity in mammalian cells without any ligand. These results reveal a regulatory mechanism underlying Ca homeostasis by sorting and activation of GLRs by CNIHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aar6464DOI Listing
May 2018

Traumatic Carotid-Jugular Av Fistula in a Child.

Rev Port Cir Cardiotorac Vasc 2017 Jul-Dec;24(3-4):189

Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Coimbra, Portugal.

Introduction: Traumatic Arteriovenous fistulae of the neck vessels are a rare condition, comprising less than 4% of traumatic fistulae found anywhere else in the body.

Methods: The authors propose to report a clinical case of such a condition in a 10-year-old boy who sustained a gunshot wound in the left side of the neck.

Results: Shortly after the event, the patient was admitted to paediatric ICU and intubated for airway protection. A palpable thrill in the left side of the neck was noticed, giving rise to the need of imaging study. A communication between the left common carotid artery and the internal jugular vein was confimed by AngioCT. No signs of cerebral hypoperfusion or cardiac overload were present. The surgical correction was performed by direct suture repair of both vessels involved. No complications on the postoperative period. During follow up, antiagregation with acetilsalicilic acid for 1 month was prescribed and no complications occured.

Conclusion: The patient lives a normal life with no limitations.
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May 2019

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Women: Retrospective Analysis of the Cases that Undergo Surgical Repair.

Rev Port Cir Cardiotorac Vasc 2017 Jul-Dec;24(3-4):150

CHUC, Portugal.

Introduction: The prevalence of infra-renal aortic abdominal aneurysms (AAA) is about 3 to 4 times higher in men, with a recommendation I 1a for screening men > 65y. Althoug women only represente 20% of the total AAAs they have a significant higher rupture rate - threefold higher - and a worse outcome after ruptured AAA repair. Screening is not consensual but can be recommended for women > 65y who have smoked or have a family history of AAA. Against screening is the fact that the AAA in women have not only a lower incidence but also a late presentation (>80y) but references have been made to the fact that smoking became popular more than 30 years after than men and so the effects just now can start to be seen.

Methods: A retrospective review was made to all women with an infra- renal AAA who undergo a surgical treatment, elective or urgent, in the past 7 years (January 2010 - August 2017) in our hospital. Information was obtained through the clinical process. It was made an evaluation of the demographic information and anatomic features.

Results: 15 cases were reviewed, 4 elective and 11 ruptured surgical repairs. The mean age was 74 and only 4 women were more than 80 years old, with a minium age of 57. More than half the patients were previously diagnosis with hypertension but only 30% had high cholesterol. Only one was a known smoker. None had a diagnosis of cardiac disease. One had a sintomatic cerebrovascular disease. Within the elective cases, all open repair, the intra-hospitalar mortality was zero with a mean stay of 7,5 days. The ruptured cases, 1 endovascular, had a perioperative mortality of 50% The mean aortic diametre at rupture was less than 6 cm.

Conclusion: Data supports the evidence of the morbidity of a ruptured AAA and the high intra-hospitalar mortality in women. Early detection and elective repair should be considered. Sex-specific research is needed to provide the best medical treatment.
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May 2019

Physiotherapy Questionnaires App to Deliver Main Musculoskeletal Assessment Questionnaires: Development and Validation Study.

JMIR Rehabil Assist Technol 2018 Feb 23;5(1):e1. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.

Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) translate subjective outcomes into objective data that can be quantified and analyzed. Nevertheless, the use of PROs in their traditional paper format is not practical for clinical practice due to limitations associated with the analysis and management of the data. To address the need for a viable way to group and utilize the main functioning assessment tools in the field of musculoskeletal disorders, the Physiotherapy Questionnaires app was developed.

Objective: This study aims to explain the development of the app, to validate it using two questionnaires, and to analyze whether participants prefer to use the app or the paper version of the questionnaires.

Methods: In the first stage, the app for an Android operational system was developed. In the second stage, the aim was to select questionnaires that were most often used in musculoskeletal clinical practice and research. The Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) questionnaire were selected to validate the app. In total, 50 participants completed the paper and app versions of the AOFAS and 50 completed the FAOS. The study's outcomes were the correlation of the data between the paper and app versions as well as the preference of the participants between the two versions.

Results: The app was approved by experts after the adaptations of the layout for mobile phones and a total of 18 questionnaires were included in the app. Moreover, the app allows the generation of PDF and Excel files with the patients' data. In regards to validity, the mean of the total scores of the FAOS were 91.54% (SD 8.86%) for the paper version and 91.74% (SD 9.20%) for the app. There was no statistically significant differences in the means of the total scores or the subscales (P=.11-.94). The mean total scores for the AOFAS were 93.94 (SD 8.47) for the paper version and 93.96 (SD 8.48) for the app. No statistically significant differences were found for the total scores for the AOFAS or the subscales (P>.99). The app showed excellent agreement with the paper version of the FAOS, with an ICC value of 0.98 for the total score (95% CI 0.98-0.99), which was also found for the AOFAS with the ICC for the total score of 0.99 (95% CI 0.98-0.99). For compliance, 72% (36/50) of the participants in the FAOS group and 94% (47/50) in the AOFAS group preferred the app version.

Conclusions: The Physiotherapy Questionnaires app showed validity and high levels of compliance for the FAOS and AOFAS, which indicates it is not inferior to the paper version of these two questionnaires and confirms its viability and feasibility for use in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/rehab.9247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845103PMC
February 2018

Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator: Early Experience.

Braz J Cardiovasc Surg 2017 Nov-Dec;32(6):498-502

Instituto de Arritmias Cardíacas (IAC), São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Introduction: The implantable cardioverter defibrillator had been increasing the survival of patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death. The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator was developed to mitigate the complications inherent to lead placement into cardiovascular system.

Objective: To report the initial experience of 18 consecutive cases of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation showing the indications, potential pitfalls and perioperative complications.

Methods: Between September 2016 and March 2017, 18 patients with indication for primary and secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death, with no concomitant indication for artificial cardiac pacing, were included.

Results: The implantation of the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator successfully performed in 18 patients. It was difficult to place the subcutaneous lead at the parasternal line in two patients. One patient returned a week after the procedure complaining about an increase in pain intensity at pulse generator pocket site, which was associated with edema, temperature rising and hyperemia. Two patients took antialgic medication for five days after surgery. A reintervention was necessary in one patient to replace the lead in order to correct inappropriate shocks caused by myopotential oversensing.

Conclusion: In our initial experience, although the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation is a less-invasive, simple-accomplishment procedure, it resulted in a bloodier surgery perhaps requiring an operative care different from the conventional. Inappropriate shock by oversensing is a reality in this system, which should be overcame in order not to become a limiting issue for its indication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21470/1678-9741-2017-0082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731316PMC
February 2019

Respiratory status of adult patients in the postoperative period of thoracic or upper abdominal surgeries.

Rev Lat Am Enfermagem 2017 Dec 4;25:e2959. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

PhD, Visiting Professor, Instituto de Ciencias da Saúde, Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-brasileira, Redenção, CE, Brazil.

Objective: to evaluate the respiratory status of postoperative adult patients by assessing the nursing outcome Respiratory Status.

Method: descriptive, cross-sectional study developed with 312 patients. Eighteen NOC indicators were assessed and rated using a Likert-scale questionnaire and definitions. Descriptive and correlative analysis were conducted.

Results: the most compromised clinical indicators were coughing (65.5%), auscultated breath sounds (55%), and respiratory rate (51.3%). Factors associated with worse NOC ratings in specific clinical indicators were sex, age, pain, and general anesthesia.

Conclusions: certain clinical indicators of respiratory status were more compromised than others in postoperative patients. Patient and context-related variables can affect the level of respiratory compromise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1518-8345.2311.2959DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5738876PMC
December 2017

Translation, cross-adaptation and measurement properties of the Brazilian version of the ACL-RSI Scale and ACL-QoL Questionnaire in patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Braz J Phys Ther 2018 Mar - Apr;22(2):127-134. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil; Knee Research Group, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

Background: Scales to assess the quality of life and return-to-sport after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may help the clinical decision-making process.

Objective: To cross-culturally adapt and determine the validity of the Brazilian versions of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) and the Quality of Life Questionnaire (ACL-QoL).

Methods: The process of translation and cross-cultural adaptation followed the recommendations of international guidelines. One hundred participants filled out the Brazilian versions of these instruments, the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Evaluation Form, and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). The measurement properties of reliability, internal consistency and construct validity were measured.

Results: The ACL-RSI and the ACL-QoL were successfully translated and cross-culturally adapted. Both questionnaires showed good test-retest reliability (ICC=0.78, 95% CI=0.67-0.85 for the ACL-RSI; and ICC=0.84, 95% CI=0.76-0.90 for the ACL-QoL) and good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.87 for the ACL-RSI; and Cronbach's alpha=0.96 for the ACL-QoL). A reasonable correlation was found between both questionnaires and the TSK, and a low to reasonable correlation was found between the questionnaires and the SF-36 in terms of validity. Compared to the IKDC Subjective Knee Evaluation Form, the ACL-RSI had a reasonable correlation and the ACL-QoL had a good correlation.

Conclusion: The Brazilian versions of the ACL-RSI and the ACL-QoL have adequate measurement properties and may be used in assessing Brazilians after ACL reconstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.09.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5883994PMC
November 2018

BIOMECHANICAL DIFFERENCES IN BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU ATHLETES: THE ROLE OF COMBAT STYLE.

Int J Sports Phys Ther 2017 Feb;12(1):67-74

Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil.

Background: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) athletes can be divided into two combat styles: pass fighters (PFs) and guard fighters (GFs). Flexibility of the posterior chain muscles is highly necessary in these athletes, especially in GFs. On the other hand, isometric strength of the trunk extensors is required in PFs. Handgrip strength is important in holding the kimono of the opponent, and symmetrical lower-limb strength is important for the prevention of injuries due to the overload caused by training.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the biomechanical profiles of BJJ athletes with different combat styles using the following outcome measures: flexibility, trunk extensor isometric endurance, postural balance, handgrip isometric endurance and lower-limb muscle strength.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using 19 GFs and 19 PFs. The sit-and-reach test was used to evaluate the flexibility of the posterior chain muscles. The Biodex Balance System® was used to evaluate balance. A handgrip dynamometer and a dorsal dynamometer were used to evaluate handgrip and trunk extensor endurance, respectively. Quadriceps and hamstring strength were evaluated with an isokinetic dynamometer at 60 °/s.

Results: No differences were observed between groups in terms of flexibility, balance, handgrip isometric endurance or quadriceps and hamstring strength; however, PFs (81.33) showed more isometric trunk extension endurance than GFs (68.85) ( = 0.02). Both groups had low values for hamstring/quadriceps ratio.

Conclusion: No significant biomechanical differences were observed between PFs and GFs.

Level Of Evidence: 2b.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5294948PMC
February 2017

Index of fatigue quadriceps in soccer athletes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Rev Bras Ortop 2016 Sep-Oct;51(5):535-540. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), Hospital Universitário Walter Cantídio (HUWC), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

Objective: The present study aimed to evaluate the muscle fatigue of the quadriceps muscle in high-performance soccer players undergoing (anterior cruciate ligament) ACL reconstruction.

Methods: We evaluated 17 high-performance soccer players from three professional soccer teams of a state in Brazil from August 2011 to July 2012. All subjects were evaluated between 5.5 and 7 months after ACL reconstruction with a Biodex® isokinetic dynamometer (System 4 Pro) with test protocol CON/CON at 60°/s and 300°/s with 5 and 15 repetitions, respectively. In the calculation of local muscle fatigue, the fatigue index was used, which is calculated by dividing the labor done in the first one-third of the repetitions by that done at the final one-third of the repetitions, and multiplying by 100 to express a unit in percentage (i.e., as a discrete quantitative variable).

Results: All subjects were male, with a mean age of 21.3 ± 4.4 years and mean BMI 23.4 ± 1.53 cm; left dominance was observed in 47% ( = 8) of athletes, and right dominance, in 53% ( = 9) of athletes; and the limb involved in the lesion was the dominant in 29% ( = 5) and the non-dominant in 71% ( = 12). Fatigue rates were 19.6% in the involved limb and 29.0% in the non-involved limb.

Conclusion: The results allow us to conclude that there was no significant difference between the limbs involved and not in ACL injuries regarding local muscle fatigue. No association was observed between the dominant side and the limb involved in the ACL injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rboe.2016.08.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5091019PMC
August 2016

Pacing Strategy During 24-Hour Ultramarathon-Distance Running.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2017 May 6;12(5):590-596. Epub 2016 Sep 6.

Purpose: To describe pacing strategy in a 24-h running race and its interaction with sex, age group, athletes' performance group, and race edition.

Methods: Data from 398 male and 103 female participants of 5 editions were obtained based on a minimum 19.2-h effective-running cutoff. Mean running speed from each hour was normalized to the 24-h mean speed for analyses.

Results: Mean overall performance was 135.6 ± 33.0 km with a mean effective-running time of 22.4 ± 1.3 h. Overall data showed a reverse J-shaped pacing strategy, with a significant reduction in speed from the second-to-last to the last hour. Two-way mixed ANOVAs showed significant interactions between racing time and both athlete performance group (F = 7.01, P < .001, η = .04) and race edition (F = 3.01, P < .001, η = .02) but not between racing time and either sex (F = 1.57, P = .058, ηp 2 < .01) or age group (F = 1.25, P = .053, η = .01). Pearson product-moment correlations showed an inverse moderate association between performance and normalized mean running speed in the first 2 h (r = -.58, P < .001) but not in the last 2 h (r = .03, P = .480).

Conclusions: While the general behavior represents a rough reverse J-shaped pattern, the fastest runners start at lower relative intensities and display a more even pacing strategy than slower runners. The "herd behavior" seems to interfere with pacing strategy across editions, but not sex or age group of runners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0237DOI Listing
May 2017

The Role of Spongia sp. in the Discovery of Marine Lead Compounds.

Mar Drugs 2016 Jul 23;14(8). Epub 2016 Jul 23.

LAQV-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal.

A comprehensive review on the chemistry of Spongia sp. is here presented, together with the biological activity of the isolated compounds. The compounds are grouped in sesquiterpene quinones, diterpenes, C21 and other linear furanoterpenes, sesterterpenes, sterols (including secosterols), macrolides and miscellaneous compounds. Among other reports we include studies on the intraspecific diversity of a Mediterranean species, compounds isolated from associated sponge and nudibranch and compounds isolated from S. zimocca and the red seaweed Laurentia microcladia. Under biological activity a table of the reported biological activities of the various compounds and the biological screening of extracts are described. The present review covers the literature from 1971 to 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md14080139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999901PMC
July 2016

Correlation between clinical tests and electroneuromyography for the diagnosis of leprosy neuropathy.

Lepr Rev 2016 Mar;87(1):60-70

Background: In leprosy, sensory function of nerves is evaluated with monofilaments test and the motor function with voluntary muscle test, however electroneuromyography is considered as the gold-standard tool.

Objectives: This study aimed: i) to evaluate the correlation between clinical tests and electroneuromyography for the diagnosis of leprosy neuropathy; and ii) to identify the prevalence of leprosy neuropathy and the most compromised peripheral nerves in leprosy.

Methods: We analysed the data from a nested case-control study that identified 166 patients diagnosed with leprosy neuropathy confirmed by electromyography. This study was designed for an analysis of correlation between the diagnostic tests.

Results: The most prevalent type of the neural damage was the sensory and motor multiple mononeuropathy, observed in 62 (37.3%) cases. The highest prevalence was the ulnar nerve in 67 (40.3%) cases. Agreement specified by nerves was moderate, ranging from k = 0.58 in the deep peroneal nerve to k = 0.41 in the posterior tibial nerve). Overall agreement between the clinical tests and electroneuromyography was very poor. Monofilaments test with k = 0.02 (95% CI 0.00-0.12) and voluntary muscle test with 0.16 (95% CI 0.04 to 0.28, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: There is a low to moderate correlation between clinical tests (monofilaments and voluntary muscle tests) and the electroneuromyography examination. The most prevalent type of neural impairment was the sensory and motor multiple mononeuropathy, and the most affected nerve was the ulnar.
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March 2016

Laboratory predictors of uphill cycling performance in trained cyclists.

J Sports Sci 2017 Jul 7;35(14):1364-1371. Epub 2016 May 7.

b School of Sport and Exercise Sciences , University of Kent , Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent , England , UK.

This study aimed to assess the relationship between an uphill time-trial (TT) performance and both aerobic and anaerobic parameters obtained from laboratory tests. Fifteen cyclists performed a Wingate anaerobic test, a graded exercise test (GXT) and a field-based 20-min TT with 2.7% mean gradient. After a 5-week non-supervised training period, 10 of them performed a second TT for analysis of pacing reproducibility. Stepwise multiple regressions demonstrated that 91% of TT mean power output variation (W kg) could be explained by peak oxygen uptake (ml kgmin) and the respiratory compensation point (W kg), with standardised beta coefficients of 0.64 and 0.39, respectively. The agreement between mean power output and power at respiratory compensation point showed a bias ± random error of 16.2 ± 51.8 W or 5.7 ± 19.7%. One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant effect of the time interval (123.1 ± 8.7; 97.8 ± 1.2 and 94.0 ± 7.2% of mean power output, for epochs 0-2, 2-18 and 18-20 min, respectively; P < 0.001), characterising a positive pacing profile. This study indicates that an uphill, 20-min TT-type performance is correlated to aerobic physiological GXT variables and that cyclists adopt reproducible pacing strategies when they are tested 5 weeks apart (coefficients of variation of 6.3; 1 and 4%, for 0-2, 2-18 and 18-20 min, respectively).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2016.1182199DOI Listing
July 2017

Effective Hypothermic Storage of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Compatible With Global Distribution of Cells for Clinical Applications and Toxicology Testing.

Stem Cells Transl Med 2016 May 29;5(5):658-69. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal iBET, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Oeiras, Portugal.

Unlabelled: To fully explore the potential of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs), efficient methods for storage and shipment of these cells are required. Here, we evaluated the feasibility to cold store monolayers and aggregates of functional CMs obtained from different PSC lines using a fully defined clinical-compatible preservation formulation and investigated the time frame that hPSC-CMs could be subjected to hypothermic storage. We showed that two-dimensional (2D) monolayers of hPSC-CMs can be efficiently stored at 4°C for 3 days without compromising cell viability. However, cell viability decreased when the cold storage interval was extended to 7 days. We demonstrated that hPSC-CMs are more resistant to prolonged hypothermic storage-induced cell injury in three-dimensional aggregates than in 2D monolayers, showing high cell recoveries (>70%) after 7 days of storage. Importantly, hPSC-CMs maintained their typical (ultra)structure, gene and protein expression profile, electrophysiological profiles, and drug responsiveness.

Significance: The applicability of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) in the clinic/industry is highly dependent on the development of efficient methods for worldwide shipment of these cells. This study established effective clinically compatible strategies for cold (4°C) storage of hPSC-CMs cultured as two-dimensional (2D) monolayers and three-dimensional (3D) aggregates. Cell recovery of 2D monolayers of hPSC-CMs was found to be dependent on the time of storage, and 3D cell aggregates were more resistant to prolonged cold storage than 2D monolayers. Of note, it was demonstrated that 7 days of cold storage did not affect hPSC-CM ultrastructure, phenotype, or function. This study provides important insights into the cold preservation of PSC-CMs that could be valuable in improving global commercial distribution of hPSC-CMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5966/sctm.2015-0238DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4835249PMC
May 2016

Ion Fluxes through KCa2 (SK) and Cav1 (L-type) Channels Contribute to Chronoselectivity of Adenosine A1 Receptor-Mediated Actions in Spontaneously Beating Rat Atria.

Front Pharmacol 2016 7;7:45. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Laboratório de Farmacologia e Neurobiologia - Center for Drug Discovery and Innovative Medicines (MedInUP), Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP) Porto, Portugal.

Impulse generation in supraventricular tissue is inhibited by adenosine and acetylcholine via the activation of A1 and M2 receptors coupled to inwardly rectifying GIRK/KIR3.1/3.4 channels, respectively. Unlike M2 receptors, bradycardia produced by A1 receptors activation predominates over negative inotropy. Such difference suggests that other ion currents may contribute to adenosine chronoselectivity. In isolated spontaneously beating rat atria, blockade of KCa2/SK channels with apamin and Cav1 (L-type) channels with nifedipine or verapamil, sensitized atria to the negative inotropic action of the A1 agonist, R-PIA, without affecting the nucleoside negative chronotropy. Patch-clamp experiments in the whole-cell configuration mode demonstrate that adenosine, via A1 receptors, activates the inwardly-rectifying GIRK/KIR3.1/KIR3.4 current resulting in hyperpolarization of atrial cardiomyocytes, which may slow down heart rate. Conversely, the nucleoside inactivates a small conductance Ca(2+)-activated KCa2/SK outward current, which eventually reduces the repolarizing force and thereby prolong action potentials duration and Ca(2+) influx into cardiomyocytes. Immunolocalization studies showed that differences in A1 receptors distribution between the sinoatrial node and surrounding cardiomyocytes do not afford a rationale for adenosine chronoselectivity. Immunolabelling of KIR3.1, KCa2.2, KCa2.3, and Cav1 was also observed throughout the right atrium. Functional data indicate that while both A1 and M2 receptors favor the opening of GIRK/KIR3.1/3.4 channels modulating atrial chronotropy, A1 receptors may additionally restrain KCa2/SK activation thereby compensating atrial inotropic depression by increasing the time available for Ca(2+) influx through Cav1 (L-type) channels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780064PMC
March 2016

A snakebite caused by a bushmaster (Lachesis muta): report of a confirmed case in State of Pernambuco, Brazil.

Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 2015 Sep-Oct;48(5):636-7

Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

We report a case of envenomation caused by a bushmaster ( Lachesis muta) in a male child in State of Pernambuco, Brazil. The victim showed discrete local manifestations, but presented altered blood coagulation 2 hours after the bite. Ten ampoules of bothropic-lachetic antivenom therapy were administered, and 48 hours later, the patient showed discrete edema, pain, and ecchymosis around the bite and normal blood coagulation. The patient was discharged 5 days after the envenomation. The prompt administration of specific treatment was important for the favorable outcomes observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0037-8682-0143-2015DOI Listing
April 2016

To err is robotic, to tolerate immunological: fault detection in multirobot systems.

Bioinspir Biomim 2015 Feb 2;10(1):016014. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal. Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal. Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie 6, CNRS UMR 7222, F-75252, Paris Cedex 05, France.

Fault detection and fault tolerance represent two of the most important and largely unsolved issues in the field of multirobot systems (MRS). Efficient, long-term operation requires an accurate, timely detection, and accommodation of abnormally behaving robots. Most existing approaches to fault-tolerance prescribe a characterization of normal robot behaviours, and train a model to recognize these behaviours. Behaviours unrecognized by the model are consequently labelled abnormal or faulty. MRS employing these models do not transition well to scenarios involving temporal variations in behaviour (e.g., online learning of new behaviours, or in response to environment perturbations). The vertebrate immune system is a complex distributed system capable of learning to tolerate the organism's tissues even when they change during puberty or metamorphosis, and to mount specific responses to invading pathogens, all without the need of a genetically hardwired characterization of normality. We present a generic abnormality detection approach based on a model of the adaptive immune system, and evaluate the approach in a swarm of robots. Our results reveal the robust detection of abnormal robots simulating common electro-mechanical and software faults, irrespective of temporal changes in swarm behaviour. Abnormality detection is shown to be scalable in terms of the number of robots in the swarm, and in terms of the size of the behaviour classification space.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/10/1/016014DOI Listing
February 2015

Modeling human neural functionality in vitro: three-dimensional culture for dopaminergic differentiation.

Tissue Eng Part A 2015 Feb 11;21(3-4):654-68. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

1 iBET-Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica , Oeiras, Portugal .

Advances in mechanistic knowledge of human neurological disorders have been hindered by the lack of adequate human in vitro models. Three-dimensional (3D) cellular models displaying higher biological relevance are gaining momentum; however, their lack of robustness and scarcity of analytical tools adapted to three dimensions hampers their widespread implementation. Herein we show that human midbrain-derived neural progenitor cells, cultured as 3D neurospheres in stirred culture systems, reproducibly differentiate into complex tissue-like structures containing functional dopaminergic neurons, as well as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Moreover, an extensive toolbox of analytical methodologies has been adapted to 3D neural cell models, allowing molecular and phenotypic profiling and interrogation. The generated neurons underwent synaptogenesis and elicit spontaneous Ca(2+) transients. Synaptic vesicle trafficking and release of dopamine in response to depolarizing stimuli was also observed. Under whole-cell current-and-voltage clamp, recordings showed polarized neurons (Vm=-70 mV) and voltage-dependent potassium currents, which included A-type-like currents. Glutamate-induced currents sensitive to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists revealed the existence of functional glutamate receptors. Molecular and phenotypic profiling showed recapitulation of midbrain patterning events, and remodeling toward increased similarity to human brain features, such as extracellular matrix composition and metabolic signature. We have developed a robust and reproducible human 3D neural cell model, which may be extended to patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, broadening the applicability of this model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEA.2014.0079DOI Listing
February 2015

Blood protein adsorption on sulfonated chitosan and κ-carrageenan films.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2013 Nov 15;111:719-25. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Grupo de Pesquisas em Separações por Adsorção, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universidade Federal do Ceará, CEP 60455-760 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

Many strategies have been reported to improve compatibility of biopolymers using chemical and physical modifications. One possibility is the introduction of sulfonate groups (R-SO3(-)) in the chitosan chain. Another biopolymer with similar characteristics to those of heparin is κ-carrageenan. This study proposed to investigate the application of these two polymers, based on their potential for globular protein adsorption (BSA and fibrinogen). Polymeric films of chitosan and κ-carrageenan were prepared; all films were characterized by elemental analyses, FTIR, XPS and SEM. Characterization techniques showed that the chitosan chain was modified and confirmed the existence of sulfonate groups, as well as in the κ-carrageenan chain, indicating surfaces with similar chemical properties to those of heparin. The effect of charge density was observed for each adsorption condition (BSA at pH 5.0 and 7.4). A more pronounced adsorption rate was observed at pH 5.0 than at pH 7.4 and equilibrium adsorption was achieved, in both cases, after approximately 20 min. The equilibrium data indicate a lower adsorption rate for the sulfonated chitosan film, in comparison to the other films. These results confirm the potential of modified chitosan for use in applications in which globular protein adsorption should be avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2013.06.002DOI Listing
November 2013

Formalization, implementation, and modeling of institutional controllers for distributed robotic systems.

Artif Life 2014 1;20(1):127-41. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

EPFL, Instituto Superior Técnico.

The work described is part of a long term program of introducing institutional robotics, a novel framework for the coordination of robot teams that stems from institutional economics concepts. Under the framework, institutions are cumulative sets of persistent artificial modifications made to the environment or to the internal mechanisms of a subset of agents, thought to be functional for the collective order. In this article we introduce a formal model of institutional controllers based on Petri nets. We define executable Petri nets-an extension of Petri nets that takes into account robot actions and sensing-to design, program, and execute institutional controllers. We use a generalized stochastic Petri net view of the robot team controlled by the institutional controllers to model and analyze the stochastic performance of the resulting distributed robotic system. The ability of our formalism to replicate results obtained using other approaches is assessed through realistic simulations of up to 40 e-puck robots. In particular, we model a robot swarm and its institutional controller with the goal of maintaining wireless connectivity, and successfully compare our model predictions and simulation results with previously reported results, obtained by using finite state automaton models and controllers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00100DOI Listing
March 2014

Concurrent validity of the pressure biofeedback unit and surface electromyography in measuring transversus abdominis muscle activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

Rev Bras Fisioter 2012 Sep-Oct;16(5):389-95. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Physical Therapy Department, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

Background: The Pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) is an assessment tool used in clinical practice and research aimed to indirectly analyze the transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle activity. The concurrent validity of the PBU in a clinically relevant sample is still unclear.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the concurrent validity and diagnostic accuracy of the PBU in measuring TrA muscle activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

Method: This study was performed using a validation, cross-sectional design. Fifty patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain were recruited for this study. To test the concurrent validity both PBU measures (index test) and superficial electromyographic measures (reference-standard test) were compared and collected by a physical therapist in a series of voluntary contraction maneuvers of TrA muscle.

Results: Participants were on average 22 years old, weighed 63.7 kilos, 1.70 meters height and mean low back pain duration was 1.9 years. It was observed a weak and non-significant Phi coefficient (r=0.2, p<0.20). With regards to diagnostic accuracy tests, our results suggest a low sensitivity (60%) and specificity (60%) of the PBU. The positive predictive value was high (0.8) and negative predictive value was low (0.2).

Conclusions: Concurrent validity of the PBU in measuring TrA muscle activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain is poor given the low correlation and diagnostic accuracy with superficial EMG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s1413-35552012005000038DOI Listing
December 2013

Reproducibility of the pressure biofeedback unit in measuring transversus abdominis muscle activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

J Bodyw Mov Ther 2012 Apr 6;16(2):251-7. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Department of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil.

The Pressure Biofeedback Unit (PBU) is often used by clinicians and researchers to indirectly evaluate transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the inter and intra-examiner reproducibility of the PBU in measuring TrA muscle activity in fifty patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. This study was performed using a test-retest design with a seven day interval. An Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC(2,1)) of 0.74 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.85) and 0.76 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.86) was observed for the intra and inter-examiner reproducibility, respectively. The intra-examiner agreement (Limits of Agreement - LOA = 2.1 to -1.8 mmHg) and the inter-examiner agreement (LOA = 2.0 to -1.9 mmHg) were within the limits of agreement on 95% of occasions. The reproducibility of PBU in measuring TrA muscle activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain ranged from satisfactory to excellent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.06.003DOI Listing
April 2012

Glutamate receptor-like genes form Ca2+ channels in pollen tubes and are regulated by pistil D-serine.

Science 2011 Apr 17;332(6028):434-7. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande, 6, P-2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.

Elevations in cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](cyt)) constitute a fundamental signal transduction mechanism in eukaryotic cells, but the molecular identity of Ca(2+) channels initiating this signal in plants is still under debate. Here, we show by pharmacology and loss-of-function mutants that in tobacco and Arabidopsis, glutamate receptor-like channels (GLRs) facilitate Ca(2+) influx across the plasma membrane, modulate apical [Ca(2+)](cyt) gradient, and consequently affect pollen tube growth and morphogenesis. Additionally, wild-type pollen tubes grown in pistils of knock-out mutants for serine-racemase (SR1) displayed growth defects consistent with a decrease in GLR activity. Our findings reveal a novel plant signaling mechanism between male gametophyte and pistil tissue similar to amino acid-mediated communication commonly observed in animal nervous systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1201101DOI Listing
April 2011
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