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The research has shown the interesting contributions of shearing in mid-gestation on the performance of lambs from birth to weaning. Other studies have reported that shearing at early pregnancy influences the development of the placenta and lamb live weight at birth. However, there was a lack of information on the effect of early-prepartum shearing on the behavior of the offspring from weaning onward. This study evaluated the effect of shearing ewes at 50 days of gestation on the growth, reproductive behavior and response to a gastrointestinal parasite challenge in the female offspring from weaning to 18 months old. Fifty-seven Polwarth female lambs were used, 22 being singles and 35 twins born to ewes either shorn at 50 days of pregnancy (PS, n = 23) or shorn at 62 days postpartum (U, control, n = 34) resulting in four subgroups: single lambs born to PS ewes (n = 8), born to U ewes (n = 14), twin lambs born to PS ewes (n = 15) or born to U ewes (n = 20). All progeny were managed together under improved pasture with a minimum forage allowance of 6% live weight on dry basis. Body weight, body condition score and fecal eggs count were recorded every 14 days from weaning to 18 months of age. Concentrations of progesterone were measured weekly (from 4 to 10 months of age and from 14 to 18 months of age) to establish the onset of puberty. Ovulation rate at an induced and a natural heat (545 ± 1.0 and 562 ± 1.0 day old) was recorded. Prepartum shearing did not affect the age at puberty or the ovulation rate of female offspring, but those born as singles were more precocious ( P = 0.03) and heavier ( P = 0.02) at puberty than twin born lambs. Both the average value of parasite egg count ( P = 0.0 7) and the Famacha index ( P = 0.02) for the entire study period were lower in lambs born to prepartum shorn ewes than those born to postpartum shorn ewes. In conclusion, shearing at 50 days of gestation did not affect the growth or the reproductive behavior of female offspring. However, female lambs born from ewe shorn during gestation showed a better response to the parasitic challenge, and further research is required to confirm this.
The aim of this review is to focus the attention on the nutrition ecology of the heavy metals and on the major criticisms related to the heavy metals content in animal feeds, manure, soil and animal-origin products. Heavy metals are metallic elements that have a high density that have progressively accumulated in the food chain with negative effects for human health. Some metals are essential (Fe, I, Co, Zn, Cu, Mn, Mo, Se) to maintain various physiological functions and are usually added as nutritional additives in animal feed. Other metals (As, Cd, F, Pb, Hg) have no established biological functions and are considered as contaminants/undesirable substances. The European Union adopted several measures in order to control their presence in the environment, as a result of human activities such as: farming, industry or food processing and storage contamination. The control of the animal input could be an effective strategy to reduce human health risks related to the consumption of animal-origin products and the environmental pollution by manure. Different management of raw materials and feed, animal species as well as different legal limits can influence the spread of heavy metals. To set up effective strategies against heavy metals the complex interrelationships in rural processes, the widely variability of farming practices, the soil and climatic conditions must be considered. Innovative and sustainable approaches have discussed for the heavy metal nutrition ecology to control the environmental pollution from livestock-related activities.
In the past decades, the intense selection practices carried out in order to develop fast growing and high breast-yield turkey hybrids profoundly modified the muscle physiology leading to the development of growth-related alterations and muscular abnormalities. White striations of variable thickness have been particularly observed on the ventral surface of Pectoralis major muscle belonging from heavy male turkeys since several years. However, although the effects of white striping (WS) have been extensively studied on broilers, this condition was not considered as a main quality issue by both turkey producers and meat industry. Thus, this study aimed at evaluating whether the occurrence of WS in heavy male turkeys affects the quality traits and technological properties of meat to the same extent previously observed for broilers. In two replications, 72 Pectoralis major muscles were classified as: normal (NORM), moderate WS (MOD) and severe WS (SEV) cases. The whole muscle was weighed and cut in order to assess colour, ultimate pH, water holding (drip and cooking losses) and binding (marinade uptake) capacities, NMR relaxation properties, shear force as well as proximate composition of meat. The Pectoralis major muscles affected by WS (both moderate and severe cases) exhibited a one-fifth increased weight in comparison with their NORM counterpart. However, the occurrence of WS only partially affected the proximate composition of the meat. In detail, although moisture, collagen and protein contents did not differ among the groups, if compared with NORM, higher lipid levels were found in SEV muscles, whereas MOD had intermediate values. On the other hand, both MOD and SEV exhibited lower ash content. Despite these variations in proximate composition, both water holding and binding capacities of turkey breast meat were not affected by WS. Indeed, quality traits of raw (pH, colour, cooking losses and shear force) and marinated (uptake, cooking losses and shear force) meat as well as water distribution within the muscle tissue did not differ between NORM and WS cases. Overall, if compared with broilers, WS only marginally affected quality traits of turkey breast meat. It might thus be hypothesised a diverse specie-specific physiological response to the pressure in muscle tissue induced by the selection in turkeys that, although analogously led to the occurrence of WS, results in limited effects on meat quality.
The objective of this study was to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with birth weight, weight gain from birth to weaning and from weaning to yearling, yearling height and cow weight in Nelore cattle. Data from 5064 animals participating in the DeltaGen and PAINT breeding programs were used. The animals were genotyped with a panel of 777 962 SNPs (Illumina BovineHD BeadChip) and 412 993 SNPs remained after quality control analysis of the genomic data. A genome-wide association study was performed using a single-step methodology. The analyses were processed with the BLUPF90 family of programs. When applied to a genome-wide association studies, the single-step GBLUP methodology is an iterative process that estimates weights for the SNPs. The weights of SNPs were included in all analyses by iteratively applying the single-step GBLUP methodology and repeated twice so that the effect of the SNP and the effect of the animal were recalculated in order to increase the weight of SNPs with large effects and to reduce the weight of those with small effects. The genome-wide association results are reported based on the proportion of variance explained by windows of 50 adjacent SNPs. Considering the two iterations, only windows with an additive genetic variance >1.5% were presented in the results. Associations were observed with birth weight on BTA 14, with weight gain from birth to weaning on BTA 5 and 29, with weight gain from weaning to yearling on BTA 11, and with yearling height on BTA 8, showing the genes TMEM68 (transmembrane protein 8B) associated with birth weight and yearling height, XKR4 (XK, Kell blood group complex subunit-related family, member 4) associated with birth weight, NPR2 (natriuretic peptide receptor B) associated with yearling height, and REG3G (regenerating islet-derived 3-gamma) associated with weight gain from weaning to yearling. These genes play an important role in feed intake, weight gain and the regulation of skeletal growth.
The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions that associated with beef tenderness in Nellore cattle. Phenotypes were obtained according to the standard USDA Quality Grade (1999). Data from 909 genotyped Nellore bulls were used in the Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) undertaken using a single-step approach including also a pedigree file composed of 6276 animals. The analyses were performed using the Blupf90 software, estimating the effect of genomic windows of 10 consecutive markers. The GWAS results identified 18 genomic regions located on 14 different chromosomes (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 29), which explained more than 1% of the total additive genetic variance; several candidate genes were located in these regions including SLC2A9, FRAS1, ANXA3, FAM219A, DNAI, AVEN, SHISA7, UBE2S, CDC42EP5, CNTN3, C16orf96, UBALD1, MGRN1 and SNORA1 With the single-step GWAS, it was possible to identify regions and genes related to meat tenderness in Nellore beef cattle.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the energy restriction of gestation of adult ewes from day 45 to day 115 on lamb live performance parameters, carcass and meat traits. In experiment I, dietary energy was restricted at 70% of the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements, after which ewes were re-fed ad libitum until lambing. In experiment II, dietary energy was restricted at 60% of the ME requirements, and ewes were re-fed to ME requirements until lambing. All ewes grazed together from the end of the restriction periods to weaning. Lambs were weaned and lot fed until slaughter. Feed intake, weight gain and feed efficiency were recorded, and body fat thickness and ribeye area (REA) were measured in the longissimus thoracis muscle. After slaughter, carcass weight and yield, fat depth, carcass and leg length, and frenched rack and leg weights and yields were determined. Muscle fiber type composition, Warner-Bratzler shear force, pH and color were determined in the longissimus lumborum muscle. In experiment I, energy restriction followed by ad libitum feeding affected lamb birth weight (P<0.05); however, no effects (P>0.05) were observed on later BW, REA, BF or carcass traits. Lambs born to non-restricted-fed ewes had higher (P<0.05) weight and yield of the frenched rack cut and their meat tended (P=0.11) to be tender compared with that of lambs from restricted ewes. The percentage of oxidative muscle fibers was lower for lambs born to non-restricted ewes (P<0.05); however, no effects of ewe treatment were observed on other muscle fiber types. For experiment II, energy restriction followed by ME requirements feeding, affected (P<0.01) pre-weaning live weight gain, weaning and final weights. Lambs from restricted ewes had higher (P<0.05) feed intake as % of leg weight and a trend to be less efficient (P=0.16) than lambs from unrestricted dams. Ribeye area and BF were not influenced by treatment. Treatment significantly affected slaughter weight, but had no effects on carcass yield and traits or on meat traits. The results obtained in both experiments indicate submitting ewes to energy restriction during gestation affects the performance of their progeny but the final outcome would depend on the ewe’s re-feeding level during late gestation and the capacity of the offspring to compensate the in utero restriction after birth.
During the past few years, there has been an increasing prevalence of broiler breast muscle abnormalities, such as white striping (WS) and wooden breast conditions. More recently, a new muscular abnormality termed as spaghetti meat (SM) because of the altered structural integrity of the Pectoralis major muscle often associated with WS has emerged. Thus, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of WS and SM conditions, occurring alone or combined within the same P. major muscle, on meat quality traits and muscle histology. In two replications, 96 P. major muscles were classified into four classes: normal (N), WS, SM and WS/SM. The whole fillet was used for weight assessment and morphometric measurements, then each sample was cut in order to separate the superficial layer from the deep one and used to evaluate proximate composition, histological features, nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation times, functional properties and both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins profile. Fillets affected by WS and SM abnormalities exhibited higher weights and increased thickness and length. SM condition was associated with a relevant decrease in protein content coupled with a significant increase in moisture level, whereas fat content was affected only by the simultaneous presence of WS. Histological evaluations revealed that abnormal samples were characterized by several degenerative aspects that almost completely concerned the superficial layer of the fillets. White striped fillets exhibited necrosis and lysis of fibers, fibrosis, lipidosis, loss of cross striation and vacuolar degeneration. Moreover, SM samples were characterized by poor fiber uniformity and a progressive rarefaction of the endo- and peri-mysial connective tissue, whereas WS/SM fillets showed intermediate histological features. Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation analysis revealed a higher proportion of extra-myofibrillar water in the superficial section of all the abnormal fillets, especially in SM samples, which consequently led to a reduction of the water holding capacity of meat. As for functional properties, abnormal fillets exhibited a lower protein solubility and higher ultimate pH values on both the superficial and deep sections. Although abnormal fillets exhibited higher yellowness values, no relevant effect on meat color was observed. The occurrence of WS and SM abnormalities led to increased carbonylation levels and more intense proteolytic processes. Overall, muscle abnormalities mainly affect the superficial layer of P. major muscle and particularly the occurrence of SM myopathy seems to implicate a more pronounced modification of meat quality traits than the mere presence of WS.
The chances of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest depend on early and high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Our aim is to verify whether the use of feedback devices during laypersons’ CPR training improves chest compression quality.
Laypersons totalling 450 participating in Basic Life Support and Automated External Defibrillation (BLS/AED) courses were randomly divided into three groups: group No Feedback (NF) attended a course without any feedback, group Short Feedback (SF) a course with 1-minute training with real-time visual feedback, and group Long Feedback (LF) a course with 10-minute training with real-time visual feedback. At the end of each course, we recorded 1 minute of compression-only CPR. The primary end point was the difference in the percentage of compressions performed with correct depth.
There was a significant improvement in the percentage of compressions with correct depth in the groups receiving feedback compared to the other (NF v. LF, p=0.022; NF v. SF, p=0.005). This improvement was also present in the percentage of compressions with a complete chest recoil (71.7% in NF, 86.6% in SF, and 88.8% in LF; p<0.001), compressions with the correct hand position (93.2% in NF, 98.2% in SF, and 99.3% in LF; p<0.001), and in the Total CPR Score (79.4% in NF, 90.2% in SF, and 92.5% in LF; p<0.001). There were no significant differences for all of the parameters between group SF and group LF.
Real-time visual feedback improves laypersons’ CPR quality, and we suggest its use in every BLS/AED course for laypersons because it can help achieve the goals emphasized by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation recommendations.
We present an interferometry setup and the detailed fringe analysis method for intense short pulse (SP) laser experiments. The interferometry scheme was refined through multiple campaigns to investigate the effects of pre-plasmas on energetic electrons at the Jupiter Laser Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The interferometer used a frequency doubled (
) 0.5 ps long optical probe beam to measure the pre-plasma density, an invaluable parameter to better understand how varying pre-plasma conditions affect the characteristics of the energetic electrons. The hardware of the diagnostic, data analysis and example data are presented. The diagnostic setup and the analysis procedure can be employed for any other SP laser experiments and interferograms, respectively.
From the photoinduced transport of energy that accompanies photosynthesis to the transcontinental transmission of optical data that enable the Internet, our world relies and thrives on optical signals. To highlight the importance of optics to society, the United Nations designated 2015 as “The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.” Although conventional optical technologies are limited by diffraction, plasmons—collective oscillations of free electrons in a conductor—allow optical signals to be tailored with nanoscale precision. Following decades of fundamental research, several plasmonic technologies have now emerged on the market, and numerous industrial breakthroughs are imminent. This article highlights recent industrially relevant advances in plasmonics, including plasmonic materials and devices for energy; for medical sensing, imaging, and therapeutics; and for information technology. Some of the most exciting industrial applications include solar-driven water purifiers, cell phone Raman spectrometers, high-density holographic displays, photothermal cancer therapeutics, and nanophotonic integrated circuits. We describe the fundamental scientific concepts behind these and related technologies, as well as the successes and challenges associated with technology transfer.
Sexuality is still a taboo in Middle Eastern countries, and Lebanon is no exception. This study’s objective was to evaluate attitudes towards sexuality and its practice among university students in Lebanon and assess their respective correlates. The cross-sectional study was carried out among students selected from seventeen universities across Lebanon. The participants received a self-administered standardized questionnaire that assessed their attitudes towards sexuality. It included questions on socio-demographic factors, risk-taking, risky behaviours and sexuality-related questions. Among 3384 students, 2700 (79.8%) answered the questions on sexuality. Around 15% had engaged in sexual activity, while 20% were regularly sexually active. Among males, 34.8% had never had sexual activity, 29.9% had tried it and 35.3% were regularly sexually active. Among females the results were respectively 85.1%, 5.3% and 9.6% (p<0.001). Only 36% regularly used condoms during their relationships. A liberal attitude towards sex, male sex, motives for risky behaviours, current cigarette smoking and problematic alcohol consumption were associated with sexual activity. Realizing that risky behaviours are dangerous, health concerns related to sexual relationships and a liberal attitude towards sex were associated with regular condom use. However, being bothered by condoms and female sex were inversely associated with condom use. Finally, participants who had motives for, and those who felt excited about risky behaviours, and those reporting current cigarette and waterpipe smoking and problematic alcohol consumption (β=0.600; p=0.002) embraced a more liberal attitude towards sex. Conversely, females (β=−7.58; p<0.001) and individuals who considered risky behaviours as dangerous reported an unfavourable attitude towards sexuality. A substantial proportion of Lebanese university students have regular sexual activity, but a low percentage use condoms for protection. Interventions are required among males in particular in view of these attitude and behavioural changes towards sexuality.
The paramyxean parasite Marteilia refringens infects several bivalve species including European flat oysters Ostrea edulis and Mediterranean mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis. Sequence polymorphism allowed definition of three parasite types ‘M’, ‘O’ and ‘C’ preferably detected in oysters, mussels and cockles respectively. Transmission of the infection from infected bivalves to copepods Paracartia grani could be experimentally achieved but assays from copepods to bivalves failed. In order to contribute to the elucidation of the M. refringens life cycle, the dynamics of the infection was investigated in O. edulis, M. galloprovincialis and zooplankton over one year in Diana lagoon, Corsica (France). Flat oysters appeared non-infected while mussels were infected part of the year, showing highest prevalence in summertime. The parasite was detected by PCR in zooplankton particularly after the peak of prevalence in mussels. Several zooplanktonic groups including copepods, Cladocera, Appendicularia, Chaetognatha and Polychaeta appeared PCR positive. However, only the copepod species Paracartia latisetosa showed positive signal by in situ hybridization. Small parasite cells were observed in gonadal tissues of female copepods demonstrating for the first time that a copepod species other than P. grani can be infected with M. refringens. Molecular characterization of the parasite infecting mussels and zooplankton allowed the distinguishing of three Marteilia types in the lagoon.
Low-luminosity radio galaxies, common in the local Universe, are associated with giant elliptical galaxies and typically with a FR I radio morphology. However, they are rare in flux-limited samples of distant radio-loud (RL) AGN due to a selection bias. Chiaberge et al. (2009) selected the first sizeable sample of FRI candidates at 1<z<3, in the COSMOS field. We study the Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of this low radio power sample from the far-UV to the Mid-IR wavelengths. Our results show that the hosts of these high-z low-luminosity radio sources are old massive galaxies, similar to the local FR Is. However, for half of the sample the UV and MIR excesses indicate the possible significant contribution from star formation and/or nuclear activity, not seen in low-z FR Is. Our sources display a wide variety of properties: from possible quasars at the highest luminosities, to low-luminosity old galaxies.