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A completely randomized experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of α-amylase (AMY) and glucoamylase (GLU) on total losses, fermentative profile, chemical composition and amylolytic activity of rehydrated maize. Eighty-four experimental silos of rehydrated maize [0.33 litres/kg ground maize, 4-mm theoretical particle size, and 625 g/kg dry matter (DM)] were assigned to the following treatments: (1) control (CON), no enzyme addition; (2) GLU added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize (as-fed); and (3) AMY added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize. Seven silos from each treatment were opened after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Differences among treatments were evaluated through orthogonal contrasts (CON v. enzymes, and AMY v. GLU). Time effects were decomposed using polynomial regression. Glucoamylase silage exhibited greater total losses than AMY. Enzymes increased acetate and lactic acid concentrations and decreased ethanol concentration. Regardless of treatment, gas, effluent and total fermentative losses linearly increased, whereas DM recovery linearly decreased with higher storage length. Glucoamylase silage had lower ammonia nitrogen and higher lactic acid concentrations than AMY. Enzyme treatments decreased silage neutral detergent fibre content and increased in vitro DM degradation. Glucoamylase silage exhibited a more moderate starch content and greater in vitro DM degradation than AMY. Storage time linearly decreased DM, starch and fibre content of rehydrated maize. In vitro degradation of DM linearly increased as the storage length increased. This study showed evidence that enzymes with amylolytic activity, particularly GLU, improve the fermentative profile and DM degradation of rehydrated maize silage.
Reduced plasma vitamin D (VD) levels may contribute to excessive white adipose tissue, insulin resistance (IR) and dyslipidaemia. We evaluated the effect of chronic oral VD supplementation on adiposity and insulin secretion in monosodium glutamate (MSG)-treated rats. During their first 5 d of life, male neonate rats received subcutaneous injections of MSG (4 g/kg), while the control (CON) group received saline solution. After weaning, groups were randomly distributed into VD supplemented (12 µg/kg; three times/week) and non-supplemented (NS) rats, forming four experimental groups (n 15 rats/group): CON-NS, CON-VD, MSG-NS and MSG-VD. At 76 d of life, rats were submitted to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 2 g/kg), and at 86 d, obesity, IR and plasma metabolic parameters were evaluated. Pancreatic islets were isolated for glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), cholinergic insulinotropic response and muscarinic 3 receptor (M3R), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein kinase A (PKA) expressions. Pancreas was submitted to histological analyses. VD supplementation decreased hyperinsulinaemia (86 %), hypertriacylglycerolaemia (50 %) and restored insulin sensibility (89 %) in MSG-VD rats, without modifying adiposity, OGTT or GIIS, compared with the MSG-NS group. The cholinergic action was reduced (57 %) in islets from MSG-VD rats, without any change in M3R, PKA or PKC expression. In conclusion, chronic oral VD supplementation of MSG-obese rats was able to prevent hyperinsulinaemia and IR, improving triacylglycerolaemia without modifying adiposity. A reduced cholinergic pancreatic effect, in response to VD, could be involved in the normalisation of plasma insulin levels, an event that appears to be independent of M3R and its downstream pathways.
Vitamins play an essential role in broiler nutrition. They are fundamental for normal metabolic and physiological process, and their requirements for poultry are not fixed and can be affected by multiple factors. In contrast, mycotoxins are a challenging issue because they hinder performance and the immune system. Vitamin supplementation above minimum requirements would permit improvement in productive potential, health, bone and meat quality in a situation of mycotoxin challenge. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of optimum vitamin nutrition in diets contaminated with aflatoxin in broilers from 1 to 44 days of age. A total of 1800 Cobb 500 male chicks were randomized to 15 sets of eight treatment groups, each containing 15 birds using a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design (commercial vitamin levels and high vitamin levels, two levels of aflatoxin – 0 and 0.5 ppm with binder levels of 0 and 10 000 mg/kg). The mash diets were corn and soybean meal based, formulated according to commercial practices. Feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion were analyzed for birds from 1 to 44 days of age. To determine carcass characteristics (carcass yield, breast yield and leg yield) and black bone syndrome, two birds were slaughtered from each group at 45 days. Other analyses included breast tenderness, water loss by dripping and malonaldehyde concentrations. The results demonstrated that broilers that were fed high levels of vitamins showed better weight gain, feed conversion, carcass yield and breast yield than broilers that were fed diets with commercial vitamin levels (P < 0.05); also, broilers that were fed diets containing 0.5 ppm aflatoxin had lower weight gain, carcass yield and breast yield (P < 0.05). The use of 10 000 mg/kg of binder improved (P < 0.05) feed conversion throughout the rearing period. We conclude that aflatoxin negatively affects performance and carcass yield; however, feeding optimum vitamin nutrition improved these performance traits.
Gluten is only partially digested by intestinal enzymes and can generate peptides that can alter intestinal permeability, facilitating bacterial translocation, thus affecting the immune system. Few studies addressed the role of diet with gluten in the development of colitis. Therefore, we investigate the effects of wheat gluten-containing diet on the evolution of sodium dextran sulphate (DSS)-induced colitis. Mice were fed a standard diet without (colitis group) or with 4·5 % wheat gluten (colitis + gluten) for 15 d and received DSS solution (1·5 %, w/v) instead of water during the last 7 d. Compared with the colitis group, colitis + gluten mice presented a worse clinical score, a larger extension of colonic injury area, and increased mucosal inflammation. Both intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation were increased, propitiating bacteria migration for peripheral organs. The mechanism by which diet with gluten exacerbates colitis appears to be related to changes in protein production and organisation in adhesion junctions and desmosomes. The protein α-E-catenin was especially reduced in mice fed gluten, which compromised the localisation of E-cadherin and β-catenin proteins, weakening the structure of desmosomes. The epithelial damage caused by gluten included shortening of microvilli, a high number of digestive vacuoles, and changes in the endosome/lysosome system. In conclusion, our results show that wheat gluten-containing diet exacerbates the mucosal damage caused by colitis, reducing intestinal barrier function and increasing bacterial translocation. These effects are related to the induction of weakness and disorganisation of adhesion junctions and desmosomes as well as shortening of microvilli and modification of the endocytic vesicle route.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) treatment default in a priority city for disease control in Brazil. A cohort of TB cases diagnosed from 2008 to 2009 was followed up from patients’ entry into three outpatient sites, in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais (Brazil), until the recording of the outcomes. Drug addiction, alcoholism and treatment site appeared to be independently associated with default. Current users of crack as the hardest drug (odds ratio (OR) 12·25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·04–49·26) were more likely to default than other hard drug users (OR 5·67, 95% CI 1·34–24·03), former users (OR 4·12, 95% CI 1·11–15·20) and those not known to use drugs (reference group). Consumers at high risk of alcoholism (OR 2·94, 95% CI 1·08–7·99) and those treated in an outpatient hospital unit (OR 8·22, 95% CI 2·79–24·21%) also were more likely to default. Our results establish that substance abuse was independently associated with default. National TB programmes might be more likely to achieve their control targets if they include interventions aimed at improving adherence and cure rates, by diagnosing and treating substance abuse concurrently with standard TB therapy.
Recent work on galactic planetary nebulae (PN) has emphasized the complex nature of this galactic subsystem (W. J. Maciel, 31st Herstmonceux Conference, ed. R. Terlevich, in press). A fairly large amount of data is now available, including distances, galactic distribution, kinematical properties, and chemical composition of the nebular gas, supplemented by data on the central stars for some objects. In this work, a large sample of PN is used to study the different stellar populations associated with the galactic nebulae. It is seen that the available data imply a physical description of the PN phenomenon that is consistent with an evolutionary model based on stellar populations.
Pertussis is a worldwide acute respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Despite high vaccine coverage, the bacterium continues to circulate in populations and is still one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases. In Brazil, pertussis incidence has presented a significant decrease since 1990 but since 2011 a sudden increase in incidence has been observed. Thus, the aim of this study was to perform a molecular epidemiological characterization of B. pertussis strains isolated in the Central-Western region (specifically in Distrito Federal) of Brazil from August 2012 to August 2014. During this period, 92 B. pertussis strains were isolated from the outbreaks. All strains were characterized by serotyping and XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles. From August to December 2012, the most prevalent serotype observed was 1,3 (13/17). During 2013 the prevalence of serotype 1,3 decreased (13/30) and from January 2014 to August 2014 the most prevalent serotype was 1,2 (33/45). Fourteen PFGE profiles were identified. Of these, BP-XbaI0039 prevalence increased from 3/17 in 2012 to 10/30 in 2013, and 35/45 in 2014. These results evidence the selection of a specific genetic profile during this period, suggesting the occurrence of a bacterial genomic profile with high circulation potential.
Most evidence suggests anthropogenic edges negatively affect rain-forest bird communities but little has been done to test this in Australasia. In this study, avifaunal detection frequency, species richness and community composition were compared between the edge and interior and between flat and more complex-shaped edges of riparian rain-forest tracts in Tropical North Queensland. The detection frequency and richness of guilds based on diet, foraging strata and habitat specialism were also compared. This study detected 15.1% more birds at the rain-forest edge compared with the interior but no difference in species richness. Edge shape had no effect on detection frequency or richness. Many guilds (subcanopy, closed forest, frugivorous and insectivorous species) experienced increased detection frequency at the edge relative to the interior, but for some guilds this response was reduced (habitat generalists) or reversed (understorey and mixed-flock species) along complex edges. Overall community composition was affected by edge distance but not by edge shape. Edge habitat was shorter and had more open canopy than the interior, supporting habitat-based explanations for the observed avifaunal edge effects. These results suggest generally positive edge effects in Australian rain-forest bird communities, possibly reflecting local resource distributions or a disturbance-tolerant species pool.
Imbalances in dietary fat intakes are linked to several chronic diseases. This study describes dietary intakes and food sources of fat and fatty acids in 1051 Irish adults (aged 18–90 years), using data from the 2011 national food consumption survey, the National Adult Nutrition Survey. It also compares current intakes for 18–64-year-olds with those reported in the last such survey in 2001, the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey. Dietary fat intakes were estimated using data from 4-d semi-weighed (2011) and 7-d estimated (2001) food diaries. In 2011, intakes for 18–64-year-olds were as follows: total fat, 34·1 (sd 6·1) % total energy (%TE); SFA, 13·3 (sd 3·3) %TE; MUFA, 12·5 (sd 2·6) %TE; PUFA, 6·1 (sd 2·2) %TE; and trans-fat, 0·511 (sd 0·282) %TE. Apart from MUFA, intakes decreased (P<0·001) compared with 2001. There was no statistically significant difference in intakes of EPA and DHA by 18–64-year-olds in 2011 (269·0 (sd 515·0) mg/d) and 2001 (279·1 (sd 497·5) mg/d). In 2011, adults aged >65 years had the highest intakes of SFA; however, intakes were typically higher than UK-recommended values for all groups. In contrast, intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids were lowest in younger age groups. Intakes of trans-fat were well within UK-recommended levels. Although there have been some improvements in the profile of intakes since 2001, imbalances persist in the quantity and quality of dietary fat consumed by Irish adults, most notably for total and SFA and for younger age groups for long-chain n-3 fatty acids.
The evidence for the acceleration of the universe shows that canonical theories of cosmology and particle physics are incomplete, and that new physics is out there, waiting to be discovered. Forthcoming high-resolution ultra-stable spectrographs will play a key role in this quest for new physics. Here we focus on astrophysical tests of the stability of nature's fundamental couplings, and by taking existing VLT data as a starting point we discuss how forthcoming improvements (in particular with the E-ELT) will impact on fundamental cosmology.
The objective of this study was to determine whether salicylic acid, nitric oxide (NO) and/or feeding by nymphs of the spittlebug Mahanarva spectabilis affect the concentration of total phenolic compounds and the dry matter content of different genotypes of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum). Four genotypes of elephant grass with varying levels of resistance to insect attack were treated with 4 mL of salicylic acid (1%) or 2 mL of NO per plant in the presence and the absence of nymphs. We determined the concentration of total phenolic compounds and the percentage dry matter of shoots and roots in the plants. We found that salicylic acid, NO and attack by M. spectabilis did not change significantly the total phenolic compounds concentration in any of the genotypes of elephant grass tested. However, we observed variations in the concentration of phenolic compounds produced between the resistant and susceptible genotypes, both in the shoot, when subjected to salicylic acid or nymphs, and in the roots in the presence of nymphs. Furthermore, the inducers resulted in variation in the dry matter content of the shoots and roots for most of the genotypes tested. Therefore, we conclude that chemical inducers and feeding by M. spectabilis nymphs cannot be used to elicit a resistance response in elephant grass by stimulating the production of phenolic compounds.
We consider the problem of reducing the response time of fork-join systems by maintaining the workload balanced among the processing stations. The general problem of modeling and finding an optimal policy that reduces imbalance is quite difficult. In order to circumvent this difficulty, the heavy traffic approach is taken, and the system dynamics are approximated by a reflected diffusion process. This way, the problem of finding an optimal balancing policy that reduces workload imbalance is set as a stochastic optimal control problem, for which numerical methods are available. Some numerical experiments are presented, where the control problem is solved numerically and applied to a simulation. The results indicate that the response time of the controlled system is reduced significantly using the devised control.
In this talk the utility of atomic force microscopy (AFM) for research into infectious parasites will be discussed. AFM has grown from relatively recent beginnings to become an extremely powerful technique in the life sciences, coupling high resolution imaging with a range of non-imaging experiments. Importantly, these experiments can be performed in situ, even on individual molecules or on live cells.
The two examples discussed relate to the important diseases leishmaniasis and malaria. Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite of the Leishmania genera, and causes approximately 60,000 deaths per year. Despite the high death toll, the disease has been the subject of relatively little research and little treatment is available, probably because the most severe cases are confined to developing nations. The most severe form, visceral leishmaniasis is caused by the species known as Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi). A promising new anti-leishmania drug, DS01 has been recently isolated from amphibian secretions and can kill L. infantum in low concentrations. We were able to culture and prepare for microscopy L. infantum promastigotes for the first time, as well as to study the effects of DS01 on cell morphology and membrane integrity. The results from both AFM and SEM are highly complementary and illustrate the possibility of membrane-focussed activity as well as the possibility of attack on the flagella (figure 1).
Malaria is one of the most deadly diseases in the world, killing more than 600,000 people per year, mostly in low-income countries. It is caused by Plasmodium parasites, and the most commonly studied stage is that in which the parasite invades the blood. Prior to blood invasion, the parasites infect hepatocytes in the liver, with formation of a parasitophorous vacuole, where they develop into exoerythrocytic forms and multiply to generate thousands of merozoites, later released into the bloodstream and causing disease. However, infection of liver cells, which is clinically silent, is required for disease progression. We studied infection of liver cells by Plasmodium using combined epifluorescence and atomic force microscopy. We observed significant changes in cell morphology as infection progressed (figure 2). Furthermore we made nanoindentation measurements with the AFM, to determine cellular stiffness. We observed stiffening of the cells after 48 hours of infection compared to uninfected cells. This was a cellular response to the Plasmodium infection, rather than a result of the stiffness of the invading parasites themselves. This stiffening may be caused by reinforcement of cytoskeletal structures, and we believe this may reflect a self-defence mechanism by the cell itself.