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Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
Inclusion of legume in grass pastures optimizes protein values of the forage and promotes improved digestibility. Therefore, we hypothesized that finishing steers on a novel combination of legumes and grass pasture would produce carcasses with acceptable traits when compared to carcasses from steers finished in feedlot systems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of finishing steers on three systems including: grazing legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover (PAST), grazing PAST plus supplementation with whole corn grain (14 g/kg BW (SUPP)), and on a feedlot-confined system with concentrate only (28 g/kg BW, consisting of 850 g/kg of whole corn grain and 150 g/kg of protein–mineral–vitamin supplement (GRAIN)) on growth performance of steers, carcass traits and digestive disorders. Eighteen steers were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments and finished for 91 days. Data regarding pasture and growth performance were collected during three different periods (0 to 28, 29 to 56 and 57 to 91 days). Subsequently, steers were harvested to evaluate carcass traits, presence of rumenitis, abomasitis and liver abscesses. The legume–grass pasture provided more than 19% dry matter of protein. In addition, pasture of paddocks where steers were assigned to SUPP and PAST treatments showed similar nutritional quality. When compared to PAST, finishing on SUPP increased total weight gain per hectare, stocking rate, daily and total weight gains. The increase of weight gain was high to GRAIN than SUPP and PAST. Steers finished on GRAIN had high hot carcass weight, fat thickness and marbling score when compared to PAST. However, these attributes did not differ between GRAIN and SUPP. Abomasum lesions were more prevalent in steers finished on GRAIN when compared to PAST. Results of this research showed that it is possible to produce carcasses with desirable market weight and fat thickness by finishing steers on legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover. Moreover, supplementing steers with corn when grazing on legume–grass pasture produced similar carcass traits when compared to beef fed corn only.
With increased regulations regarding the use of feed-grade antimicrobials in livestock systems, alternative strategies to enhance growth and immunity of feedlot cattle are warranted. Hence, this experiment compared performance, health and physiological responses of cattle supplemented with feed-grade antibiotics or alternative feed ingredients during the initial 60 days in the feedlot. Angus×Hereford calves (63 steers+42 heifers) originating from two cow–calf ranches were weaned on day −3, obtained from an auction yard on day −2 and road-transported (800 km; 12 h) to the feedlot. Upon arrival on day −1, shrunk BW was recorded. On day 0, calves were ranked by sex, source and shrunk BW, and allocated to one of 21 pens. Pens were assigned to receive (7 pens/treatment) a free-choice total mixed ration containing: (1) lasalocid (360 mg/calf daily of Bovatec; Zoetis, Florham Park, NJ, USA)+chlortetracycline (350 mg/calf of Aureomycin at cycles of 5-day inclusion and 2-day removal from diet; Zoetis) from days 0 to 32, and monensin only (360 mg/calf daily of Rumensin; Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, IN, USA) from days 33 to 60 (PC), (2) sodium saccharin-based sweetener (Sucram at 0.04 g/kg of diet dry matter; Pancosma SA; Geneva, Switzerland)+plant extracts containing eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and capsicum (800 mg/calf daily of XTRACT Ruminants 7065; Pancosma SA) from days 0 to 32 and XTRACT only (800 mg/calf daily) from days 33 to 60 (EG) or (3) no supplemental ingredients (CON; days 0 to 60). Calves were assessed for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) signs and dry matter intake was recorded from each pen daily. Calves were vaccinated against BRD pathogens on days 0 and 22. Shrunk BW was recorded on day 61, and blood samples collected on days 0, 6, 11, 22, 33, 43 and 60. Calf ADG was greater (P=0.04) in PC v. EG and tended (P=0.09) to be greater in PC v. CON. Feed efficiency also tended (P=0.09) to be greater in PC v. CON, although main treatment effect for this response was not significant (P=0.23). Mean serum titers against bovine respiratory syncytial virus were greater in EG v. PC (P=0.04) and CON (tendency; P=0.08). Collectively, the inclusion of alternative feed ingredients prevented the decrease in feed efficiency when chlortetracycline and ionophores were not added to the initial feedlot diet, and improved antibody response to vaccination against the bovine respiratory syncytial virus in newly weaned cattle.
We developed a Bayesian framework to determine in a robust way the relation between velocity dispersions and chemical abundances in a sample of stars. Our modelling takes into account the uncertainties in the chemical and kinematic properties. We make use of RAVE DR5 radial velocities and abundances together with Gaia DR1 proper motions and parallaxes (when possible, otherwise UCAC4 data is used). We found that, in general, the velocity dispersions increase with decreasing [Fe/H] and increasing [Mg/Fe]. A possible decrease in velocity dispersion for stars with high [Mg/Fe] is a property of a negligible fraction of stars and hardly a robust result. At low [Fe/H] and high [Mg/Fe] the sample is incomplete, affected by biases, and likely not representative of the underlying stellar population.
Clinical manifestations of acute bronchiolitis (AB) vary from minimal disease to severe respiratory failure. The response to respiratory viral infections is possibly influenced by genetic polymorphisms linked to the regulation of the inflammatory response. In the present study, we investigated whether interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) genetic variants are associated with the severity of AB. A group of Brazilian infants hospitalized with AB and a control group (infants with no or mild AB, without hospitalization) were genotyped for four IL-8/IL-17 variations. For replication, we studied an Argentinean population sample of infants with mild and severe AB. IL-8 polymorphism (rs 2227543) and IL-17 (rs2275913) variants showed significant associations with the severity of AB. The effect of the IL-8 variation could be replicated in the Argentinean sample. This finding suggests that IL-8 variations may influence the severity of AB in young infants. Further genetic association studies in low- or middle-income populations are necessary with the aim of expanding knowledge in this area.
Wavelet analysis was employed to identify the major frequencies of low-frequency waves present in the Martian magnetosheath. The Morlet wavelet transform was selected and applied to the electron density data, obtained from the Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms experiment (ASPERA-3), onboard the Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft. We have selected magnetosheath crossings and analyzed electron density data. From a preliminary study of 502 magnetosheath crossings (observed during the year of 2005), we have found 1409 periods between 0.005 and 0.06Hz. The major frequencies observed were in the range 0.005-0.02 Hz with 58.5% of the 1409 frequencies identified.
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the main source of intense geomagnetic storms when they are earthward directed. Studying their travel time is a key-point to understand when the disturbance will be observed at Earth. In this work, we study the CME that originated the interplanetary disturbance observed on 2013/10/02. According to the observations, the CME that caused the interplanetary disturbance was ejected on 2013/09/29. We obtained the CME speed and estimate of the time of arrival at the Lagrangian Point L1 using the concept of expansion speed. We found that observed and estimated times of arrival of the shock differ between 2 and 23 hours depending on method used to estimate the radial speed.
This work presents the first results of a study about possible effects on the surface temperature during short periods of lower fluxes of Galactic Cosmic Rays at Earth, called Forbush Decreases. There is a hypothesis that the Galactic Cosmic Ray flux decreases cause changes on the physical-chemical properties of the atmosphere. We have conducted a study to investigate these possible effects on several latitudinal regions, around the ten strongest FDs occurred from 1987 to 2015. We have found a possible increase on the surface temperature at middle and high latitudes during the occurence of these events.
We present a method for the analysis of latitude distribution associated with temperature and/or velocity perturbations of the stellar surface due to non-radial pulsation (NRP) modes in rapidly rotating B stars. The technique is applied together with Fourier Doppler Imaging (FDI) to high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio spectroscopic observations of ϵ Per. The main advantage of this approach is that it decomposes complex multi-periodic line profile variations into single components, allowing the detailed analysis of each mode separately. We study the 10.6-d−1 frequency that is particularly important for modal analysis of non-radial pulsations in the star.
We present the imaging potential of a tomographic technique which combines time-resolved spectroscopy and long baseline interferometry, providing information that cannot be obtained otherwise with each of these techniques separately.
Extracts and essential oils from plants are important natural sources of pesticides. These compounds are considered an alternative to control ectoparasites of veterinary importance. Schinus molle, an endemic species of Brazil, produces a high level of essential oil and several other compounds. The aim of this work was to determinate the chemical composition of extracts and essential oils of S. molle and further to evaluate the activity against eggs and adults of Ctenocephalides felis felis, a predominant flea that infests dogs and cats in Brazil. In an in vitro assay, the non-polar (n-hexane) extract showed 100% efficacy (800 µg cm−2; LD50 = 524·80 µg cm−2) at 24 and 48 h. Its major compound was lupenone (50·25%). Essential oils from fruits and leaves were evaluated, and had 100% efficacy against adult fleas at 800 µg cm−2 (LD50 = 353·95 µg cm−2) and at 50 µg cm−2 (LD50 = 12·02 µg cm−2), respectively. On the other hand, the essential oil from fruits and leaves was not active against flea eggs. This is the first study that reports the insecticidal effects of essential oils and extracts obtained from Schinus molle against Ctenocephalides felis felis.
A microsporidian infecting the skeletal muscle of hybrid jundiara (Leiarius marmoratus × Pseudoplatystoma reticulatum) in a commercial aquaculture facility in Brazil is described. Affected fish exhibited massive infections in the skeletal muscle that were characterized by large opaque foci throughout the affected fillets. Histologically, skeletal muscle was replaced by inflammatory cells and masses of microsporidial developmental stages. Generally pyriform spores had a wrinkled bi-layer spore wall and measured 4·0 × 6·0 µm. Multinucleate meronts surrounded by a simple plasma membrane were observed. The polar filament had an external membrane and a central electron dense mass. The development of sporoblasts within a sporophorous vesicle appeared synchronized. Ultrastructural observations and molecular analysis of 16S rDNA sequences revealed that the microsporidian was Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. This study is the first report of a P. hyphessobryconis infection in a non-ornamental fish.
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 surface brightness colors (SBC) relation is a very important tool to derive the distance of extragalactic eclipsing binaries. However, for early-type stars, this SBC relation is critically affected by the stellar environment (wind, circumstellar disk, etc...) and/or by the fast rotation. We calculated 6 models based on the code of Domiciano de Souza et al. (2012) considering different inclinations and rotational velocities. Using these results, we quantify for the first time the impact of the rotation on the SBC relation.
Morphological studies of helminths by scanning electron microscopy are generally limited to the external topography of the organisms. In this work, we present a simple technique using ethanol as a cryoprotectant without postfixation in osmium tetroxide that allows for observation of the inner organization of helminths and preserves cellular structures. We tested the technique in three helminths: Echinostoma paraensei, Cruzia tentaculata, and Hassalstrongylus epsilon. The results show that this technique could potentially be applied to study the morphology, ultrastructure, and taxonomy of helminths.
Grazing Incidence Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS) is a versatile technique for the analysis of nano and micro thin films surfaces. The scattering data depend strongly on the form and distribution of the scattering objects. In the present work GISAXS is used to study hafnium dioxide (HfO2) thin films deposited by magnetron sputtering using different deposition processes and post-deposition annealing conditions. Two distinct types of 15 nm thick samples were produced using different sputtering targets and different gas mixtures. The GISAXS results show that the ellipsoids that compose the thin films present a reduction in their size for both samples sets. For the sputtered Hf metal target samples, the ellipsoid diameter value shifted from 9 nm (as-deposited) to 6 nm following a 800 °C thermal treatment. For the sputtered HfO2 target samples the diameter value shifts from 19 nm (as-deposited) to 3 nm after a 800 °C anneal in oxygen. The size distribution, for both sets of samples, follows a Gaussian distribution function.