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Flooring in the farrowing house has changed dramatically over the years from straw bedding on concrete to metal, cast iron or plastic slats. Animals can develop abrasion injuries from these floors (Edwards and Lightfoot, 1986) and sows have been shown to avoid slatted floors during and immediately after farrowing (Phillips et al., 1996). There is some evidence that providing a cushioning material in the pen could improve animal welfare (Gravas, 1979). The objectives of this study were to assess the effect of providing mats in the farrowing house on behaviour and lesion development in sows and piglets.
Nineteen sows and their litters housed on metal slatted floors (Tri-bar, Nooyen, Duerne, The Netherlands) and nineteen sows and their litters on mats (Productive Comfort, Pemarsa, S.A.) were included in the study. Mats were made of micro-cellular foam and were placed in the area of the farrowing crate and on both heat pads. Sows were examined in 34 locations for skin lesions on entry to the farrowing house and again at weaning, approximately four weeks later. Lesions were scored according to their severity (1 to 6); addition of scores yielded a total score for each sow.
Comfort is of particular importance during the peri-partum period when cows are particularly susceptible to claw lesions. Claw lesions are reduced by housing on straw bedding which is thought to be in part attributable to the physical surface (Bergsten and Frank, 1996) but also to the fact that cows in straw yards spend more time lying down (Singh et al., 1993). The objective of this study was to determine the influence of relief areas in cubicle housing and out-wintering on a woodchip pad on behaviour and foot lesion scores of pregnant dairy heifers.
Teeth resection is a method of controlling the injurious effects of the aggression displayed when newborn piglets fight to establish a teat order. However, recent European legislation discourages the practice (Commission Directive 2001/93/EC). The objective of this study was to assess the effect of clipping and grinding piglets’ needle teeth, compared to leaving them intact, on the welfare of piglets in farrowing crates.
Floor type is one of the main features influencing the welfare of sows and piglets in farrowing crates. Yet it is difficult to reconcile the needs of the sow and her piglets through the use of one floor (Furniss et al., 1986). Hence the aim of this study was to identify a floor combination that optimises the welfare of the piglets in the farrowing crate.
The shaping of PNe as a result of an interaction with a planet is a hypothesis that has been suggested for nearly two decades. However, exploring the idea observationally is challenging due to the lack of capabilities needed to detect any evidence of such a scenario. Nonetheless, we propose that the hypothesis can be indirectly tested via a combination of exoplanet formation and evolution theories, the star and planet formation histories of the galaxy and the tidal evolution of star-planet systems. We present a calculation of the fraction of planetary nebulae in the galaxy today which have undergone an interaction with a planet, concluding that a significant number of visible planetary nebulae may have been shaped by a planet.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
We report on the final microlensing result from one survey (VATT/Columbia) monitoring stars in M31, and the initial results of a larger study (MEGA), which together seem to indicate the presence of a microlensing halo component comprising a significant fraction of the dark matter in M31.
We report the result of the VLA observations of all the 80 AGN in the Cambridge-Cambridge ROSAT Serendipity Survey (CRSS, Boyle et al. 1995), a new well defined sample of 80 X-ray selected AGN with fx(0.5-2.0keV)≥ 2 × 10–14 erg s–1 cm–2. Our aim was to obtain a complete classification of the sample members as Radio-loud (RL) or Radio-quiet (RQ) in order to determine well-constrained X-ray luminosity function (XLF) for X-ray selected RQ and RL AGN separately.
Recently we completed the VATT/Columbia survey monitoring a portion of M31 for microlensing and stellar variability, and report here on the microlensing result. Also, we have nearly completed a much larger survey (MEGA) covering most of the stars in M31, for which we have started cataloging many tens of thousands of Cepheids, Miras, eclipsing variables and other kinds of variable stars. The microlensing results from these two surveys hint that a significant fraction of the dark matter in M31 is composed of stellar-mass objects in the halo.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a predominant immunoglobulin present in human breast milk and is known to play an important role in infant gut immunity maturation. Breast milk composition varies between populations, but the environmental and maternal factors responsible for these variations are still unclear. We examined the relationship between different exposures and levels of IgA in colostrum. The objective of this study was to examine whether exposures analysed influence levels of IgA in colostrum. The present study used 294 colostrum samples from the MecMilk International cohort, collected from women residing in London, Moscow and Verona. Samples were analysed in automated Abbott Architect Analyser. We found an inverse correlation between time postpartum and colostrum total IgA level (r=−0.49, P<0.001). Adjusting for maternal parity, smoking, fresh fruit and fish consumption and allergen sensitization, multiple regression model showed that IgA levels were influenced by colostrum collection time (P<0.0001) and country of collection (P<0.01). Mode of delivery influence did not appear to be significant in univariate comparisons, once adjusted for the above maternal characteristics it showed a significant influence on total IgA (P=0.01). We conclude that the concentration of IgA in colostrum drops rapidly after birth and future studies should always consider this factor in analysis. IgA concentration varied significantly between countries, with the highest level detected in Moscow and lowest in Verona. Mode of delivery effect should be confirmed on larger cohorts. Further work is needed to determine ways to correct for IgA decline over time in colostrum, and to find the cause of variations in IgA levels between the countries.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The Critically Endangered tamaraw Bubalus mindorensis is endemic to Mindoro Island, Philippines, and little is known of its ecology. During 2006–2011 we used community-based monitoring to examine the population status and ecology of tamaraw in the species’ core habitat of Mount Iglit–Baco National Park. Each year, for 5 consecutive days at the end of the dry season, trained local volunteers and rangers or project staff were allocated to 18 vantage points in the study area (c. 160 km2). Tamaraw were categorized as adult (> 5 years), juvenile (2–5 years) or calf (< 2 years), and sexed when possible. During the study period the population was 239–314 (mean 271), with no significant fluctuations in age structure (percentage of adults, juveniles and calves: 57.8, 21.0 and 21.3%) or estimated adult female reproductive rates (29.1%). In adults, but not in juveniles, the sex ratio was biased towards females (1 : 1.86, P < 0.01). Bulls were often solitary (32.2% of sightings), whereas the majority of cows (94.7%) formed small groups of 2–12 individuals of different ages, with or without bulls (53.4 and 46.6%, respectively). These results demonstrate that the population remained relatively stable, maintaining a constant age structure and reproductive rate, and that long-term community-based monitoring was effective for quantitative characterization of the tamaraw's social behaviour, which is critical for conservation and management of the species.
The new photometric observations of PG 2303+243 were obtained in 2012 during a campaign carried out with three telescopes. The analysis of these observations is presented in this paper. We identified l = 1 and l = 2 pulsation modes. The pulsation periods were compared with theoretical ones for models of ZZ Ceti stars. This allowed us to estimate the physical parameters of PG 2303+243. The star seems to be cooler and has thicker hydrogen layer than it was thought before. We have derived M*/M⊙ = 0.66, Teff = 11014 K and log(MH/M*)=−4.246 for this star.