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Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) produced and released by eructation to the atmosphere in large volumes by ruminants. Enteric CH4 contributes significantly to global GHG emissions arising from animal agriculture. It has been contended that tropical grasses produce higher emissions of enteric CH4 than temperate grasses, when they are fed to ruminants. A number of experiments have been performed in respiration chambers and head-boxes to assess the enteric CH4 mitigation potential of foliage and pods of tropical plants, as well as nitrates (NO3−) and vegetable oils in practical rations for cattle. On the basis of individual determinations of enteric CH4 carried out in respiration chambers, the average CH4 yield for cattle fed low-quality tropical grasses (>70% ration DM) was 17.0 g CH4/kg DM intake. Results showed that when foliage and ground pods of tropical trees and shrubs were incorporated in cattle rations, methane yield (g CH4/kg DM intake) was decreased by 10% to 25%, depending on plant species and level of intake of the ration. Incorporation of nitrates and vegetable oils in the ration decreased enteric CH4 yield by ∼6% to ∼20%, respectively. Condensed tannins, saponins and starch contained in foliages, pods and seeds of tropical trees and shrubs, as well as nitrates and vegetable oils, can be fed to cattle to mitigate enteric CH4 emissions under smallholder conditions. Strategies for enteric CH4 mitigation in cattle grazing low-quality tropical forages can effectively increase productivity while decreasing enteric CH4 emissions in absolute terms and per unit of product (e.g. meat, milk), thus reducing the contribution of ruminants to GHG emissions and therefore to climate change.
We show the design and simulation of organic neuromorphic circuits in a hybrid-computation approach that emulates Boolean and reversible logic gates based on multigate organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). The organic neuromorphic circuits consist of input, hidden, and output layers that can carry out Boolean operations, including the Exclusive OR (XOR) function, with five or less OECTs. The multigate functionality of OECTs is harnessed to perform the summation function of the neurons. Connection weights of the networks are defined in an unconventional way that depends on the value of the drain-source current of the outputting neuron, which changes according to the input values of the circuit. The Boolean circuits can be cascaded together to build higher level circuits and are demonstrated to form a full adder circuit and the Double Feynman and Toffoli reversible logic gates. Using realistic experimental parameters, the energy per computation is estimated to be ~2.3 nJ for circuit designs with a bias voltage of 0.5 V, with ~230 fJ or less being achievable for lower bias voltages.
This Research Reflection addresses the possibilities for Welfare Quality® to evolve from an assessment method based on data gathered on punctual visits to the farm to an assessment method based on sensor data. This approach could provide continuous and objective data, while being less costly and time consuming. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) technologies enabling the monitorisation of Welfare Quality® measures are reviewed and discussed. For those measures that cannot be assessed by current technologies, some options to be developed are proposed. Picturing future dairy farms, the need for multipurpose and non-invasive PLF technologies is stated, in order to avoid an excessive artificialisation of the production system. Social concerns regarding digitalisation are also discussed.
Nektaspids are Palaeozoic non-biomineralized euarthropods that were at the peak of their diversity during the Cambrian Period. Post-Cambrian nektaspids are a low-diversity group with only a few species described so far. Here we describe Tariccoia tazagurtensis, a new species of small-bodied nektaspid from the Lower Ordovician Fezouata Shale of Morocco. The new species differs from the type (and only other known) species from the Ordovician strata of Sardinia (Italy), Tariccoia arrusensis, in possessing more pointed genal angles, a cephalon with marginal rim, a pygidium with anterior margin curved forwards, a rounded posterior margin, and longer and more curved thoracic tergites. The two specimens of T. tazagurtensis sp. nov. show remains of digestive glands that are comparable to those seen in the Cambrian nektaspid Naraoia. The rare occurrence of T. tazagurtensis sp. nov. in the Fezouata Shale and the distribution of other liwiids suggest that these liwiids were originally minor members of open-marine communities during the Cambrian Period, and migrated into colder brackish or restricted seas during the Ordovician Period.
Monolayer (ML) molybdenum disulfide (MoS₂) is a novel 2-dimensional (2D) semiconductor whose properties have many applications in devices. Despite its potential, ML MoS₂ is limited in its use due to its degradation under exposure to ambient air. Therefore, studies of possible degradation prevention methods are important. It is well established that air humidity plays a major role in the degradation. In this paper, we investigate the effects of substrate hydrophobicity on the degradation of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown ML MoS2. We use optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman mapping to investigate the degradation of ML MoS2 grown on SiO2 and Si3N4 that are hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates, respectively. Our results show that the degradation of ML MoS₂ on Si3N4 is significantly less than the degradation on SiO2. These results show that using hydrophobic substrates to grow 2D transition metal dichalcogenide ML materials may diminish ambient degradation and enable improved protocols for device manufacturing.
Safe cochlear implantation is challenging in patients with canal wall down mastoid cavities, and the presence of large meatoplasties increases the risk of external canal overclosure. This paper describes our results of obliteration of the mastoid cavity with conchal cartilage as an alternative procedure in cases of canal wall down mastoidectomy with very large meatoplasty.
The cases of seven patients with a canal wall down mastoidectomy cavity who underwent cochlear implantation were retrospectively reviewed. Post-operative complications were analysed. The mean follow-up duration was 4.5 years.
There was no hint of cholesteatoma recurrence and all patients have been free of symptoms during follow up. Only one patient showed cable extrusion six months after surgery, and implantation of the contralateral ear was needed.
Pseudo-obliteration of the mastoid cavity with a cartilage multi-layered palisade reconstruction covering the electrode may be a safe alternative in selected patients with a large meatoplasty.
The COVID-19 outbreak could be considered as an uncontrollable stressful life event. Lockdown measures have provoked a disruption of daily life with a great impact over older adults’ health and well-being. Nevertheless, eudaimonic well‐being plays a protective role in confronting adverse circumstances, such as the COVID-19 situation. This study aims to assess the association between age and psychological well-being (personal growth and purpose in life). Young–old (60–70 years) and old–old (71–80 years) community-dwelling Spaniards (N = 878) completed a survey and reported on their sociodemographic characteristics and their levels of health, COVID-19 stress-related, appraisal, and personal resources. Old–old did not evidence poorer psychological well-being than young–old. Age has only a negative impact on personal growth. The results also suggest that the nature of the COVID-19 impact (except for the loss of a loved one) may not be as relevant for the older adults’ well-being as their appraisals and personal resources for managing COVID-related problems. In addition, these results suggest that some sociodemographic and health-related variables have an impact on older adults’ well-being. Thus, perceived-health, family functioning, resilience, gratitude, and acceptance had significant associations with both personal growth and purpose in life. Efforts to address older adults’ psychological well-being focusing on older adults’ personal resources should be considered.
Maternal obesity (MO) during pregnancy and lactation leads to maternal and offspring metabolic dysfunction. Recent research has suggested that probiotics might be a novel approach to counteract these unwanted MO effects. The aim of this research was to analyze the impact of Leuconostoc SD23, a probiotic isolated from aguamiel (traditional Mexican drink), on MO metabolism in rats at the end of lactation (21 days). From weaning through lactation, control female Wistar rats (C) ate chow (5% fat) or high-energy obesogenic diet (MO; 25% fat). Half the C and MO mothers received a daily dose (1 × 1010 CFU/ml) of probiotic orally, control with probiotic (CP) and MO with probiotic (MOP), 1 month before mating and through pregnancy and lactation. Histological analyses of the liver, white adipose tissue and small intestine, body composition, glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and leptin were determined in mothers at the end of lactation. Maternal weight during pregnancy was greater in MO than C mothers, but similar at the end of lactation. Probiotic intervention had no effect on maternal weight. However, at the end of lactation, percentage of body fat was higher in MO than C, CP, and MOP. Serum glucose, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and triglycerides were higher in MO versus C, CP, and MOP. MO small intestine villus height was higher versus MOP, C, and CP. Leuconostoc SD23 did not present adverse effects in C. Conclusions: maternal administration of Leuconostoc SD23 has beneficial effects on maternal metabolism, which holds possibilities for preventing adverse offspring metabolic programming.
Understanding variations in body size is essential for deciphering the response of an organism to its surrounding environmental conditions and its ecological adaptations. In modern environments, large marine animals are mostly found in cold waters. However, numerous parameters can influence body-size variations other than temperatures, such as oxygenation, nutrient availability, predation or physical disturbances by storms. Here, we investigate trilobite size variations in the Lower Ordovician Fezouata Shale deposited in a cold-water environment. Trilobite assemblages dominated by small- to normal-sized specimens that are a few centimetres in length are found in proximal and intermediate settings, while those comprising larger taxa more than 20 cm in length are found in the most distal environment of the Fezouata Shale. Drill core material from distal settings shows that sedimentary rocks hosting large trilobites preserved in situ are extensively bioturbated with a high diversity of trace fossils, indicating that oxygen and nutrients were available in this environment. In intermediate and shallow settings, bioturbation is less extensive and shallower in depth. The rarity of storm events (minimal physical disturbance) and the lack of predators in deep environments in comparison to shallower settings would also have helped trilobites attain larger body sizes. This highly resolved spatial study investigating the effects of numerous biotic and abiotic parameters on body size has wider implications for the understanding of size fluctuations over geological time.
The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
Despite lithium has been used for the last 50 years as a maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder during pregnancy, there is limited information about perinatal clinical outcomes from fetal exposure to lithium.
1. To quantify the rate of lithium placental passage
2. To assess any association between plasma concentration of lithium at delivery and perinatal outcome.
Observational and prospective study. Subjects: Women in maintenance treatment with lithium, being attended during pregnancy at the Perinatal Psychiatry Programme of Hospital Clínic (Barcelona, Spain) between 2007 and 2009. Procedure: We assessed sociodemographical data; dose/day of lithium carbonate; other drugs doses; plasmatic concentration of lithium carbonate in maternal blood intrapartum and in the umbilical cord; obstetrical maternal complications; gestational age at delivery; weight at delivery; Apgar scores; congenital malformations; hospital stays, infant serum concetrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Eight mother-child diads. Mean age of the mother (SD): 32.1 (4,7); 100% caucasian and married. Mean dose of maternal lithium (SD): 675mg (237,5mg). Premature rupture of membranes (%):25. Gestational mean age (in weeks) (SD): 39,9 (1). Birth weight (SD) : 3625gr (451,2gr); Mean Apgar1min (SD): 8,38 (1,1); Mean Apgar5min (SD): 9,75 (0,4). Loss of fetal intrapartum wellness (%): 12,5. Days of hospitalization (mean) (SD):9,5(16,6). Lithium plasmatic concentration (mEq/L), mean (SD): maternal 0,45(0,1), umbilical cord 0,33(0,1), lithium ratio uc/m 0,93 (0,3); infant TSH μU/mL mean (SD): 4,9(4,6).
Lithium placental passsage was 0,93 (0,63-1,07). ≤At umbilical cord lithium levels ≤ 0.60 mEq/L, we didn't have any preterm deliveries, low birth weight newborns, nor neonatal complications.
Natural polyamines (putrescine, spermidine and spermine) are low molecular weight highly protonated aliphatic molecules that physiologically modulate NMDA, AMPA/kainate glutamatergic receptors and limbic dopaminergic neurotransmission. Previous studies had demonstrated that polyamine metabolism might be disrupted in schizophrenia, what could potentially be linked to glutamatergic dysfunction. In particular, polyamine levels in blood and fibroblast cultures from patients with schizophrenia had previously been found to be higher than in healthy controls. Indeed, a significant positive correlation between blood polyamine levels and severity of illness may exist.
In order to test potential differences in blood polyamine levels between drug-free schizophrenia in-patients (n = 12), and healthy controls (n = 26, blood donors), spermidine (spd), spermine (spm), and spermidine/spermine index (spd/spm) were determined using HPLC after dansylation.
No significant differences were found between groups (t = 0,974; df = 36; P = 0,337 for spd, t = l0, 52; df = 36; P = 0,959 for Spm, and, t = 0, 662; df = 36; P = 0,512 for spd/spm).
Though we couldn’t replicate previous findings suggesting disturbances in blood polyamine levels in schizophrenia, this issue may be a promising target. Future research should take into account possible factors such as sex, nutritional state, and stress.
Several studies have demonstrated that Mood Disorders are threatening, widespread disorders characterized by poor outcome and chronic development. This study was undertaken to examine the features of affective patients in long-term residential care.
The study group consisted of 162 patients with a principal diagnosis of Major Depression (MDD), Bipolar Disorder I (BD-I) or Dysthymic Disorder (Dy), according to DSM IV criteria, assessed by the SCID I and II. Patients were also assessed with the HAM-D, the YMRS, the DDERS and the GAF. Current and prior medical health problems were documented also using the CIRS.
The most frequent diagnosis in our sample was found to be MDD (50.6%), followed by BD-I (35.8%) and Dy (13.6%). Psychotic symptoms were detected in 12.9% of the patients. MDD presented the higher level of depressive symptoms followed by BD-I and Dy. The latter showed the longer duration of illness and the longer untreated period compared with those of BD-I and MDD, and also presented the greater number of comorbid conditions, both medical and psychiatric. In addiction, the mean CIRS severity index for Dysthymia was significantly higher than that of MDD and BD-I. All affective patients showed a low level of global functioning, with no significant differences between the three diagnostic groups.
Affective patients in long-term residential facilities show significant impairment probably due to the complexity and severity of the psychopathology and in particular to the high rates of comorbidity, thus calling for a greater awareness in diagnosing and treating these patients in a residential setting.
A growing interest in the potential role of polyamines in stress, mood disorders and suicidal behavior has recently emerged. In particular, the expression of polyamine's rate-limiting catabolic enzyme (SAT-1, Spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase-1) may be reduced in ventral prefrontal cortex and posterior cyngulate gyrus of patients who committed suicide. However, there is some controversy regarding the involvement of potential cis-acting loci controlling SAT-1 gene expression (rs6526342 or rs17286006) in suicidal behavior. Moreover, a significant association between SAT-1 rs1960264 SNP and anxiety disorders has been found in a male caucasian spanish sample.
In order to test the potential association of SAT-1 -1415T/C SNP (rs1960264) with suicidal behavior, genotype frequencies for that SNP were compared between 193 suicidal attempters (126 female and 67 male) and 650 non-suicidal patients (314 female and 336 male) from an in-patient sample.
We could not find a significant difference in the distribution of the genotypes for rs1960264 SNP between suicide attempters versus non-suicidal individuals (Linear-by-Linear association X2 = 0,203; df = 1; P = 0,652, females; Linear-by-Linear association X2 = 0,000; df = 1; P = 0,990, males). Neither could we demonstrate a relationship between rs1960264 genotype and past history of suicidal attempts (Linear-by-Linear association X2 = 2,966 ; df = 1; P = 0,085, females; Linear-by-Linear association X2 = 1,171; df = 1; P = 0,279, males).
Although we did not find a link between rs1960264 genotype and suicidal behavior, SAT-1 may be an interesting target to investigate the biology of this phenotype. Future studies should take into account other genetic polymorphisms at SAT-1, and definitively evaluate whether or not rs6526342 and rs1960264 have any functional implications.
The prevalence of mood disorders (anxiety and depression) during pregnancy seems to be similar to the women of the same group without pregnancy. Women with recurrent depression and euthimic women who discontinued antidepressants medication during pregnancy are particularly at high risk for depressive illness. Data about perinatal effects of SSRI antidepressants are gradually accumulating and are controversial. Two meta-analyses and some controlled studies don't find increased risk for major malformations in SSRI-exposed newborn. However, other studies find an increased risk of congenital malformations, poor birth outcomes and neonatal complications.
Neonatal morbidity in infant newborn of women treated with antidepressant drugs.
We examine the relation between the pharmacological treatment of the maternal anxiety/depression during the pregnancy and acute morbidity in infant newborns.
Materials and Methods
Study group of 66 infant newborn of pregnant women with a diagnoses of major depressive episode or defined anxiety disorders according to DSM-IV, who were in treatment with antidepressant drugs during pregnancy. Control group: 120 newborn of healthy pregnant women, who did not receive any treatment, and were contemporary of the same gestational age and sex. Criteria of exclusion: demonstrated toxic consumption (alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, opiates, drug of synthesis). Studied variables: Type of childbirth and analgesia; weight and age of gestation; pH of umbilical artery and Apgar test; presence of malformations; morbidity; feeding; withdrawal syndrome.
Infant newborn of mothers exposed to the antidepressant treatment suffered from more pathology than those of the control group (16/66 vs. 14/114; 24.2% vs.12.3%; p=0.038). Two smaller malformations in the study group were observed, a preauricular appendix (group A) and one moderate pielocilicilar ectasy (group C), both in mothers who received paroxetine (2/60; 3.3% vs. 0/114; 0%, p=0.05, Fisher p=0.118, NS). Only one infant newborn displayed compatible clinical signs with moderate withdrawal syndrome (irritability, vomits) from a mother treated with venlafaxine. No case of convulsions was observed. Breast feeding was less frequent in the group of antidepressant treated mothers (38/66, 57.6% vs. 86/116, 74,1%, p=0.032).
The treatment with antidepressant drugs during pregnancy is necessary for some women. The clinician must weigh the relative risks of various treatment options and take into account individual patient wishes. Although the antidepressant drugs suppose an increased risk for the newborn, it could be assumable for the benefit that represents maintain the mother in an euthimic situation.
We propose to discuss the clinical management, as well as, the accuracy of the psychiatric and obstetric controls to minimize the neonatal complications.
The presence of mental illness in any of the parents can be a stressful factor in the child and be in certain way generator of disease. AIMS describe and quantify the psychiatric family history in patients who were consecutively referred to the outpatient department of children and adolescent psychiatry,mental health community center of collado villalba, Madrid
Material and method:
Obtain data of a series of cases filing a card of the 18-year-old minor patients who in September, October, November and December, 2007 come for the first time to our mental health community center.
The total number of patients were 114. There were psychiatric family history in 36,8% (N=42), the mother was or had been in psychiatric treatment in 28% (N=31)) of the cases, the father in 15% (N=17) and the brothers in 7 % (N=8), the most frequent diagnoses in mothers it were neurosis in 21 % (N=24), toxic abuse in 3,5% (N=4) and personality disorder in 1,8% (N=2), toxic abuse was the most frequent with 8,8% (N=10) in parents, followed by neurosis diagnosed in 4,4% (N=5), the most frequent diagnoses in brothers was the emotional disorder in 4,4,% (N=5). The mean age of parents was 41,34 (SE =6,34), in mothers was 38,43 (SE=6,59).
We have to consider the existence of some kind of psychiatric family history in the therapeutic plan of the patient.
To study the short-term effect of treatment with quetiapine on prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits of the startle reflex in schizophrenia patients.
Subjects and methods
Using PPI, we studied a group of 21 schizophrenia patients and 16 controls. Seventeen of the patients were re-tested with PPI after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine.
At baseline, an almost significant decrease in PPI was found in the patients as compared to the controls. PPI measurements did not change in the patients after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine, despite their clinical improvement.
Our results suggest that short-term quetiapine treatment may not modify PPI measures in schizophrenia patients.