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On-farm hatching systems for broiler chicks are increasingly used in practice. We studied whether or not performance, health and welfare aspects differed between commercial flocks hatched on-farm or in a hatchery (control). In two successive production cycles on seven farms, a total of 16 on-farm hatched flocks were paired to 16 control flocks, housed at the same farm. Paired flocks originated from the same batch of eggs and were subjected to similar on-farm management. On-farm hatched and control flocks only differed with respect to hatching conditions, with on-farm hatched flocks not being exposed to, for example, chick handling, post-hatch feed and water deprivation and transport, in contrast to control flocks that were subjected to standard hatchery procedures, subsequently transported and placed in the poultry house. Day-old chick quality (navel and hock scores), 1st week mortality, total mortality, BW at day (d) 0, d7 and at depopulation, and (total) feed conversion ratio were determined. Prevalence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, breast discoloration/blisters and cleanliness, litter quality and gait score were determined at d21 of age and around depopulation (d39 on average). Gross pathology and gut morphology were examined at depopulation age in a sample of birds of five flocks per treatment. On-farm hatching resulted in a higher BW at d0 (Δ=5.4 g) and d7 (Δ=11.5 g) (P<0.001), but day-old chick quality as measured by navel (P=0.003) and hock (P=0.01) quality was worse for on-farm hatched compared to control birds. Body weight, 1st week and total mortality, and feed conversion ratio at slaughter age were similar for both on-farm hatched and control flocks. On-farm hatched flocks had less footpad dermatitis (P=0.05), which indicated a better welfare. This was likely related to a tendency for better litter quality in on-farm hatched flocks at 21 days of age in comparison to control flocks (P=0.08). No major differences in gross pathology or in intestinal morphology at depopulation age were found between treatments. In conclusion, on-farm hatching resulted in better 1st week broiler performance and better welfare compared to conventional hatching in a hatchery.
The mental health outcomes of military personnel deployed on peacekeeping
missions have been relatively neglected in the military mental health
To assess the mental health impacts of peacekeeping deployments.
In total, 1025 Australian peacekeepers were assessed for current and
lifetime psychiatric diagnoses, service history and exposure to
potentially traumatic events (PTEs). A matched Australian community
sample was used as a comparator. Univariate and regression analyses were
conducted to explore predictors of psychiatric diagnosis.
Peacekeepers had significantly higher 12-month prevalence of
post-traumatic stress disorder (16.8%), major depressive episode (7%),
generalised anxiety disorder (4.7%), alcohol misuse (12%), alcohol
dependence (11.3%) and suicidal ideation (10.7%) when compared with the
civilian comparator. The presence of these psychiatric disorders was most
strongly and consistently associated with exposure to PTEs.
Veteran peacekeepers had significant levels of psychiatric morbidity.
Their needs, alongside those of combat veterans, should be recognised
within military mental health initiatives.
In this work we explore the radiocarbon (14C) signal as an independent tool to assess the year of formation of individual tree rings of tropical species in northern Brazil. Three different species were analyzed in this work: Dipteryx magnifica, Enterolobium maximum, and Hymenolobium petraeum. The studied samples are from the stem of only one individual of each species, all cut down in 2008 in Porto Trombetas, Pará, Brazil. Individual tree rings were identified based on wood anatomy and they were counted from bark to pith. Several rings were selected for 14C analysis in order to cover the overall shape of the 14C atmospheric bomb peak (after 1955). The 14C content was measured at Laboratory of Radiocarbon, Universidade Federal Fluminense (LAC-UFF). Results are compared with the Southern Hemisphere 14C atmospheric calibration curves. For E. maximum and H. petraeum the 14C signal exhibits an overall good match with the SH zone 3 and suggests annual seasonality in the growth-ring formation. These species offer suitable characteristics for dendrochronology. The D. magnifica shows mismatches in the 14C measurements that are likely a result of difficulties in identifying ring boundaries with certainty. Additional techniques may be helpful to disentangle the origin of this discrepancy.
Children with cancer are potentially at a high risk of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) inadequacy, and despite UK vitamin D supplementation guidelines their implementation remains inconsistent. Thus, we aimed to investigate 25(OH)D concentration and factors contributing to 25(OH)D inadequacy in paediatric cancer patients. A prospective cohort study of Scottish children aged <18 years diagnosed with, and treated for, cancer (patients) between August 2010 and January 2014 was performed, with control data from Scottish healthy children (controls). Clinical and nutritional data were collected at defined periods up to 24 months. 25(OH)D status was defined by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health as inadequacy (<50 nmol/l: deficiency (<25 nmol/l), insufficiency (25–50 nmol/l)), sufficiency (51–75 nmol/l) and optimal (>75 nmol/l). In all, eighty-two patients (median age 3·9, interquartile ranges (IQR) 1·9–8·8; 56 % males) and thirty-five controls (median age 6·2, IQR 4·8–9·1; 49 % males) were recruited. 25(OH)D inadequacy was highly prevalent in the controls (63 %; 22/35) and in the patients (64 %; 42/65) at both baseline and during treatment (33–50 %). Non-supplemented children had the highest prevalence of 25(OH)D inadequacy at every stage with 25(OH)D median ranging from 32·0 (IQR 21·0–46·5) to 45·0 (28·0–64·5) nmol/l. Older age at baseline (R −0·46; P<0·001), overnutrition (BMI≥85th centile) at 3 months (P=0·005; relative risk=3·1) and not being supplemented at 6 months (P=0·04; relative risk=4·3) may have contributed to lower plasma 25(OH)D. Paediatric cancer patients are not at a higher risk of 25(OH)D inadequacy than healthy children at diagnosis; however, prevalence of 25(OH)D inadequacy is still high and non-supplemented children have a higher risk. Appropriate monitoring and therapeutic supplementation should be implemented.
This study aimed to examine the dietary glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) of Australian children and adolescents, as well as the major food groups contributing to GL, in the recent 2011–2012 Australian Health Survey. Plausible food intake data from 1876 children and adolescents (51 % boys), collected using a multiple-pass 24-h recall, were analysed. The GI of foods was assigned based on a step-wise published method using values from common GI databases. Descriptive statistics were calculated for dietary GI, GL and contribution to GL by food groups, stratified by age group and sex. Linear regression was used to test for trends across age groups for BMI, dietary GI and GL, and intakes of energy, nutrients and food groups. Pearson’s χ2 test was used to test for differences between age groups for categorical subject characteristic variables. Mean dietary GI and GL of participants were 55·5 (sd 5·3) and 137·4 (sd 50·8), respectively. The main contributors to dietary GL were starchy foods: breads, cereal-based dishes, breakfast cereals, flours, grains and potatoes accounted for 41 % of total GL. Sweetened beverages, fruit and vegetable juices/drinks, cake-type desserts and sweet biscuits contributed 15 %. No significant difference (at P<0·001) was observed between sexes. In conclusion, Australian children and adolescents appear to consume diets with a lower GI than European children. Exchanging high-GI foods for low-GI alternatives within core and non-core foods may improve diet quality of Australian children and adolescents.
The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between ovulation rate (OR) and embryonic and placental development in sows. Topigs Norsvin® sows (n=91, parity 2 to 17) from three different genetic backgrounds were slaughtered at 35 days of pregnancy and the reproductive tract was collected. The corpora lutea (CL) were counted and the number of vital and non-vital embryos, embryonic spacing (distance between two embryos), implantation length, placental length, placental weight and embryonic weight were assessed. The difference between number of CL and total number of embryos was considered as early embryonic mortality. The number of non-vital embryos was considered as late mortality. Relationships between OR and all other variables were investigated using two models: the first considered parity as class effect (n=91) and the second used a subset of sows with parities 4 to 10 (n=47) to analyse the genetic background as class effect. OR was significantly affected by parity (P<0.0001), but was not affected by the genetic background of the sows. Parity and genetic background did not affect embryonic and placental characteristics at 35 days of pregnancy. OR (varying from 17 to 38 CL) was positively related with early embryonic mortality (β=0.49±0.1 n/ovulations, P<0.0001), with late embryonic mortality or number of non-vital embryos (β=0.24±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.001) and with the number of vital embryos (β=0.26±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.01). However, dividing OR in four classes, showed that the number of vital embryos was lowest in OR class 1 (17 to 21 CL), but not different for the other OR classes, suggesting a plateau for number of vital embryos for OR above 22. There was a negative linear relationship between OR and vital embryonic spacing (β=−0.45±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.001), implantation length (β=−0.35±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.003), placental length (β=−0.38±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.05) and empty space around embryonic-placental unit (β=−0.4±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.02), indicating uterine crowding. Further analyses showed that effects of OR on embryonic and uterine parameters were related with the increase in late mortality and not early embryonic mortality. Therefore, we conclude that a high OR results in an moderate increase in the number of vital embryos at day 35 of pregnancy, but compromises development in the surviving embryonic/placental units, suggesting that the future growth and survival of the embryos might be further compromised.
Diets high in glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) have been associated with a higher diabetes risk. Beer explained a large proportion of variation in GI in a Finnish and an American study. However, few beers have been tested according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) methodology. We tested the GI of beer and estimated its contribution to dietary GI and GL in the Netherlands. GI testing of pilsner beer (Pilsner Urquell) was conducted at The University of Sydney according to ISO international standards with glucose as the reference food. Subsequently, GI and GL values were assigned to 2556 food items in the 2011 Dutch food composition table using a six-step methodology and consulting four databases. This table was linked to dietary data from 2106 adults in the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007–2010. Stepwise linear regression identified contribution to inter-individual variation in dietary GI and GL. The GI of pilsner beer was 89 (sd 5). Beer consumption contributed to 9·6 and 5·3 % inter-individual variation in GI and GL, respectively. Other foods that contributed to the inter-individual variation in GI and GL included potatoes, bread, soft drinks, sugar, candy, wine, coffee and tea. The results were more pronounced in men than in women. In conclusion, beer is a high-GI food. Despite its relatively low carbohydrate content (approximately 4–5 g/100 ml), it still made a contribution to dietary GL, especially in men. Next to potatoes, bread, sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages, beer captured a considerable proportion of between-person variability in GI and GL in the Dutch diet.
Airborne electromagnetics (AEM) is an effective technique for geophysical investigations of the shallow subsurface and has successfully been applied in various geological settings to analyse the depositional architecture of sedimentary systems for groundwater and environmental purposes. However, interpretation of AEM data is often restricted to 1D inversion results imaged on resistivity maps and vertical resistivity sections. The integration of geophysical data based on AEM surveys with geological data is often missing and this deficiency can lead to uncertainties in the interpretation process. The aim of this study is to provide an improved methodology for the interpretation of AEM data and the construction of more realistic 3D geological subsurface models. This is achieved by the development of an integrated workflow and 3D modelling approaches based on combining different geophysical and geological data sets (frequency-domain helicopter-borne electromagnetic data (HFEM), time-domain helicopter-borne electromagnetic data (HTEM), three 2D reflection seismic sections and 488 borehole logs). We used 1D inversion results gained from both HFEM and HTEM surveys and applied a 3D resistivity gridding procedure based on geostatistical analyses and interpolation techniques to create continuous 3D resistivity grids. Subsequently, geological interpretations have been performed by combining with, and validation against, borehole and reflection seismic data. To verify the modelling results and to identify uncertainties of AEM inversions and interpretation, we compared the apparent resistivity values of the constructed 3D geological subsurface models with those of AEM field measurements. Our methodology is applied to a test site near Cuxhaven, northwest Germany, where Neogene sediments are incised by a Pleistocene tunnel valley. The Neogene succession is subdivided by four unconformities and consists of fine-grained shelf to marginal marine deposits. At the end of the Miocene an incised valley was formed and filled with Pliocene delta deposits, probably indicating a palaeo-course of the River Weser or Elbe. The Middle Pleistocene (Elsterian) tunnel valley is up to 350 m deep, 0.8–2 km wide, and incised into the Neogene succession. The unconsolidated fill of the Late Miocene to Pliocene incised valley probably formed a preferred pathway for the Pleistocene meltwater flows, favouring the incision. Based on the 3D AEM resistivity model the tunnel-valley fills could be imaged in high detail. They consist of a complex sedimentary succession with alternating fine- and coarse-grained Elsterian meltwater deposits, overlain by glaciolacustrine (Lauenburg Clay Complex) and marine Holsteinian interglacial deposits. The applied approaches and results show a reliable methodology, especially for future investigations of similar geological settings. The 3D resistivity models clearly allow a distinction to be made between different lithologies and enables the detection of major bounding surfaces and architectural elements.
Designing materials for application as electrodes in sodium-ion batteries may require the use of unconventional materials to realize acceptable reversible sodium insertion/extraction capabilities. To design new materials simple electrochemical methods need to be coupled with other techniques such as in situ x-ray diffraction (XRD) to correlate the influence of electrochemical performance on a parameter that can be modified, e.g., the crystal structure of the material. Here we use in situ synchrotron XRD data on Gd2TiO5-containing cells to show the minor changes in reflection positions during discharge/charge that illustrates minimal volume expansion and contraction due to insertion/extraction reactions. These small changes correlate to the Gd2TiO5 anode material in both lithium- and sodium-ion batteries showing reversible capacities of ∼45 and ∼23 mA h/g after 20 cycles, respectively. Analysis of sodium location in the crystal structure shows a preference for sodium in the smaller channels along the c axis direction during the first discharge before moving to the larger channels at the charged state. Therefore, in this work, in situ studies highlight minimal structural changes with respect to volume expansion during electrochemical cycling and illustrate where sodium ions locate within the Gd2TiO5 structure.
There has been a recent resurgence in interest in developing ohmic switches to complement transistors in order to address challenges associated with electrical current leakage. A critical limitation in ohmic switches remains the reliability of their electrical contacts. These contacts are prone to hydrocarbon induced contamination which progressively inhibits signal transmission, eventually leading to device failure. We report on progress made towards controlling the contamination phenomenon. We discuss how contact materials and operating environment affect device performance, showing that RuO2 coated microswitch contacts operating in the presence of O2 experience very limited contaminant accumulation even in hydrocarbon-rich environments. We then demonstrate that devices which have experienced contamination can recover their original performance by being operated in clean N2:O2 environment. Finally, we suggest that this resistance recovery is associated with the chemical transformation of the contaminant as opposed to its removal and that the transformed contaminant may shield the Pt coating from oxidation.
Potatoes are usually a high-glycaemic index (GI) food. Finding a low-GI potato and developing a screening method for finding low-GI cultivars are both health and agricultural priorities. The aims of the present study were to screen the commonly used and newly introduced cultivars of potatoes, in a bid to discover a low-GI potato, and to describe the relationship between in vitro starch digestibility of cooked potatoes and their in vivo glycaemic response. According to International Standard Organisation (ISO) guidelines, seven different potato cultivars were tested for their GI. In vitro enzymatic starch hydrolysis and chemical analyses, including amylose content analysis, were carried out for each potato cultivar, and correlations with the respective GI values were sought. The potato cultivars had a wide range of GI values (53–103). The Carisma cultivar was classified as low GI and the Nicola cultivar (GI = 69) as medium GI and the other five cultivars were classified as high GI according to ISO guidelines. The GI values were strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of in vitro enzymatic hydrolysis of starch in the cooked potatoes, particularly with the hydrolysis percentage at 120 min (r 0·91 and P <0·01). Amylose, dietary fibre and total starch content was not correlated with either in vitro starch digestibility or GI. The findings suggest that low-GI potato cultivars can be identified by screening using a high-throughput in vitro digestion procedure, while chemical composition, including amylose and fibre content, is not indicative.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is closely associated with insulin resistance and obesity. Hence, carbohydrate quality could be of relevance to the risk of NAFLD, but prospective data are lacking. The aim of the present study was to investigate longitudinal associations between carbohydrate quality (including dietary glycaemic index (GI) and intakes of sugar, starch and fibre) and markers of liver function in an older Australian population. The analysis was based on 866 participants ( ≥ 49 years) of the Blue Mountains Eye Study with fasting blood specimens and dietary intake data at baseline and 5-year follow-up. Multi-level mixed regression analysis was used to relate dietary GI and sugar, starch and fibre intake to the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), as well as fasting TAG and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C). After adjustment for potential confounding factors, a lower fibre intake was cross-sectionally related to higher GGT (P= 0·02) and fasting TAG (P= 0·002) levels, with fruit fibre being the most relevant fibre source (P= 0·095 for GGT; P= 0·003 for TAG). A higher dietary GI was associated with lower HDL-C (P= 0·046). Changes in carbohydrate quality during 5 years were not related to changes in ALT, GGT, TAG or HDL-C (P≥ 0·08). In conclusion, the absence of longitudinal associations between carbohydrate quality and liver enzymes and serum lipids in this older population does not support a major role of carbohydrate nutrition in liver function among the elderly.
The glycaemic index (GI) characterises foods by using the incremental area under the glycaemic response curve relative to the same amount of oral glucose. Its ability to differentiate between curves of different shapes, the peak response and other aspects of the glycaemic response is contentious. The present pilot study aimed to explore the possibility of using 1H NMR spectroscopy to better understand in vivo digestion characteristics as reflected in the glycaemic response of carbohydrate-rich foods; such an approach might be an adjunct to the in vivo GI test. The glycaemic response of two types of raw wheat flour (2005 from Griffith NSW, Chara, Row 10, Plot 6:181 and store-bought Coles™ Plain Flour) and a cooked store-bought flour was tested and compared with results recorded during the in vitro enzymatic digestion of the wheat flour samples by glucoamylase from Aspergillus niger (EC 18.104.22.168) as monitored by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Comparing the digestion time courses of raw and cooked wheat starch recorded in vitro strongly suggests that the initial rate of glucose release in vitro correlates with the glycaemic spike in vivo. During the in vitro time courses, approximately four times as much glucose was released from cooked starch samples than from raw starch samples in 90 min. Monitoring enzymatic digestion of heterogeneous mixtures (food) by 1H NMR spectroscopy showcases the effectiveness of the technique in measuring glucose release and its potential use as the basis of an in vitro method for a better understanding of the GI.