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Harrath A.H.,King Saud University | Harrath A.H.,Research Unit Animal Reproduction and Developmental Biology | Sluys R.,University of Amsterdam | Merzoug D.,University of Oum El Bouaghi | And 3 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

On the basis of extensive surveys, an update is provided on the diversity, taxonomy, anatomy, and geographic distribution of five species of North African freshwater planarians, including the description of one new species. The new species Dugesia tubqalis Harrath & Sluys, sp. nov. is mainly characterized by the following features: an elongated penis surrounded with two penial folds at its base, the dorsal one bigger than the ventral ; an atrium divided into a male and common atrium by a kind of non-muscular ridge; a terminal expansion of the ejaculatory duct just before it opens at the tip of the penis papilla. The record of Dugesia sicula represents the first fully documented record of a naturally sexual, diploid (2n=18) population in North Africa. The first finding of Polycelis nigra on the African continent is documented. The genus Polycelis is recorded here with two species, Polycelis nigra and Polycelis felina. We also noted the presence of Schmidtea polychroa, which is widespread in Europe and introduced in North America. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press. Source


Harrath A.H.,King Saud University | Harrath A.H.,Research Unit Animal Reproduction and Developmental Biology | Sluys R.,University of Amsterdam | Ghlala A.,Unite de Recherche de Biologie Animale et Systematique Evolutive | Alwasel S.,King Saud University
Journal of Cave and Karst Studies | Year: 2012

The paper describes the first species of freshwater planarians collected from subterranean localities in northern Africa, represented by three new species of Dendrocoelum Örsted, 1844 from Tunisian springs. Each of the new species possesses a well-developed adenodactyl, resembling similar structures in other species of Dendrocoelum, notably those from southeastern Europe. Comparative studies revealed previously unreported details and variability in the anatomy of these structures, particularly in the composition of the musculature. An account of this variability is provided, and it is argued that the anatomical structure of adenodactyls may provide useful taxonomic information. Source


Alwasel S.H.,King Saud University | Harrath A.-H.,Research Unit Animal Reproduction and Developmental Biology | Aljarallah J.S.,King Saud University | Abotalib Z.,King Saud University | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Human Biology | Year: 2013

Objectives: Studies of the placenta in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia have led to the suggestion that tissue along the length and breadth of its surface has different functions. A recent study in Saudi Arabia showed that the body size of newborn babies was related to the breadth of the surface at birth but not to its length. We have now examined whether the association between placental breadth and body size reflects large size of the baby from an early stage of gestation or rapid growth between early and late gestation. Methods: We studied 230 women who gave birth to singleton babies in King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In total, 176 had ultrasound measurements both before 28 weeks and at 28 weeks or later, which we define as early and late gestation. We used these to calculate growth velocities between early and late gestation, which we expressed as the change in standard deviation scores over a 10-week period. Results: The breadth of the placental surface was correlated with fetal growth velocity. The correlation coefficients were 0.24 (P=0.002) for the head circumference, 0.24 (P=0.001) for the biparietal diameter and 0.34 (P<0.001) for the abdominal circumference. The length of the surface was not related to fetal growth velocity. Conclusions: Tissue along the breadth of the placental surface may be more important than tissue along the length in the transfer of nutrients from mother to baby. This may be part of a wider phenomenon of regional differences in function across the placental surface. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 25:534-537, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Alwasel S.H.,King Saud University | Harrath A.,King Saud University | Harrath A.,Research Unit Animal Reproduction and Developmental Biology | Aljarallah J.S.,King Saud University | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Human Biology | Year: 2013

Objectives: We have reported that changes in the lifestyle of pregnant women during Ramadan affect more than one generation. In a series of newborn babies in Saudi Arabia, those whose mothers had been in utero during Ramadan differed from those whose mothers had not been in utero during Ramadan. These were unexpected findings and require replication. Methods: We examined body size at birth in 1,321 babies (682 boys and 639 girls) born in Gafsa, a small city in Tunisia. Results: Babies whose mothers had been in utero during Ramadan were smaller and thinner, and had smaller placentas, than those whose mothers had not been in utero during Ramadan. After adjustment for sex, the babies were 93 g lighter (95% confidence interval, 32-153, P=0.003) than those whose mother had not been in utero during Ramadan, their mean ponderal index was 0.52 kg/m3 lower (0.24-0.79, P<0.001) and their placental weight was 21 g lower (5-37, P=0.01). The findings did not differ by trimester of maternal exposure to Ramadan. They were similar in boys and girls and in primiparous and multiparous mothers Conclusion: This study provides further evidence that changes in lifestyle during Ramadan have intergenerational effects. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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