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Studies aimed to assess up to what extent farming and transport previous to slaughtering might affect physiology and meat quality in young goat kids are needed, with the ultimate purpose of promoting practices that minimize stress in these animals. In this regard the effects of on-farm management and transport duration on some physiological responses and meat quality parameters in goat kids were assessed. Two farms representing ‘high’ and ‘low’ welfare-friendly management practices were selected. In total, 32 suckling kids were withdrawn from each farm, transported by road for 2 or 6 h, and then slaughtered. Blood samples were collected both on-farm and in the slaughterhouse, and biochemistry, cell counts and haematocrit were determined. After slaughtering, carcass quality parameters were measured. Longissimus dorsi muscle was dissected and pH, colour parameters, water holding capacity and shear force were measured throughout 8-day ageing period. Results indicate that, regardless its duration, transport caused significant effects on some blood parameters suggesting stress in live animals, like glucose, cortisol or creatine kinase. Despite the marked stress status in animals, this condition was not decisively reflected on L. dorsi quality parameters, but some effects were observed regarding fat cover in carcasses and colour parameters. The results suggest that postmortem changes throughout ageing were more decisive in terms of meat quality than stressful management either on-farm or during transport.
Nine wheat genotypes, bred for the high-input agronomical conditions of Henan Province (China), were tested under the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions of Spain. Two cultivars widely grown in the zone were included as controls. Crop growth and leaf chlorophyll (Chl) content, leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and canopy temperature (CT) were measured during the crop cycle and stable carbon (C), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N) isotope compositions (δ13C, δ18O and δ15N) were analysed on different plant parts. The lower yield of the Chinese genotypes compared with the controls was due to fewer grains/unit area, associated with lower tillering and a plant height clearly below the optimal range. Moreover, Chinese wheat exhibited a lower spike fertility index than the controls, and this was associated with a less compact spike structure. The physiological characteristics that were related to better performance under high-yielding Mediterranean conditions consisted of a higher green aerial biomass, particularly during the reproductive stage, together with more favourable water conditions (higher gs and lower CT and δ13C), the capacity to take up water during grain fill (higher δ18O) and a more efficient uptake (lower δ15N) and utilization (lower leaf N and Chl content) of N fertilizer. It is concluded that Chinese genotypes exhibited a low acclimation capacity to the moderate stress typical of the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions.
Salmonella Enteritidis is the main cause of foodborne salmonellosis worldwide. The limited effectiveness of current interventions against this pathogen has been the main incentive to develop new methods for the efficient control of this infection. To investigate the use of DNA vaccines against S. Enteritidis in humans, immune responses stimulated by two plasmids containing the genes designated SEN1002, located in the pathogenicity island SPI-19 and encoding a Hcp protein involved in transport mechanisms, and SEN1395, located in the genomic island ΦSE14 and encoding a protein of a new superfamily of lysozymes, were evaluated. Humoral and cellular responses following intranasal immunization of two groups of BALB/c mice with the plasmids pV1002 and pV1395 plus adjuvant were evaluated and it was observed that the IgG2a/IgG1 ratios were sixfold higher than control groups. Both plasmids stimulated specific secretory IgA production. Increased proliferation of lymphocytes and IFN-γ production were detected in both experimental groups. DNA-vaccinated mice developed protective immunity against a virulent strain of S. Enteritidis, with nearly 2 logs of protection level compared to the negative control values in the spleen. Therefore, DNA vaccines are efficient at stimulating cellular and humoral immune responses at systemic and mucosal levels.
The helminth fauna of the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, in the Erro River valley (Navarre, Spain) was investigated from a total of 150 mice between February 2001 and July 2002. An overall prevalence of 90.7% was recorded and up to 14 helminth species identified. The most prevalent species was the nematode Heligmosomoidespolygyrus (78.0%), whereas Syphacia stroma was the species with the highest median abundance (19.8). The detection of Calodium hepaticum, Rodentolepis straminea and the larvae of Hydatigera taeniaeformis are significant, since these helminth species could be considered potential human parasites. The helminth infracommunity comprised no more than five species. A significant predominance of monoxenous species was detected. Statistically significant differences were also found between prevalences, helminth abundance, species richness and helminth diversity of sub-populations of the wood mouse determined by host age and season of capture, which agree with most of the studies carried out on this host. This study will shed light on the helminth community of the wood mouse from a region of Spain which has not previously been documented.
The aim of the study was the construction of risk maps for exposure to Phlebotomus sergenti, the main vector of Leishmania tropica, with a view to identifying hot spots for the potential establishment of this parasite in the southwest of Europe. Data were collected on the presence/absence of this vector and the ecological and climatic characteristics of 662 sampling sites located in the southeast, centre and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula (south-western Europe). The environmental factors associated with the distribution of P. sergenti were determined. The best predictors for the presence of this dipteran were ‘altitude’, ‘land use’, ‘land surface temperature’, ‘aspect’, ‘adjacent land cover’, ‘absence of vegetation in wall’ and the ‘absence of PVC pipes in the drainage holes of retaining walls’. Risk maps for exposure to the vector were drawn up based on these variables. The validation of the predictive risk model confirmed its usefulness in the detection of areas with a high risk of P. sergenti being present. These locations represent potential hot spots for an autochthonous focus of L. tropica becoming established. The risk maps produced for P. sergenti presence revealed several areas in the centre and south of the Iberian Peninsula to be the most prone to this process, which would make it possible for the disease to enter south-western Europe.
With the development of applications involving high sensitivity ferromagnetic-ferroelectric laminates, a systematic analysis of the noise floor for magneto-electric (ME) laminated sensor has become crucial. We report and discuss the results of such an analysis on the noise floor of magnetostrictive-piezoelectric laminates in terms of the magnetic noise spectral density at room temperature. The noise floor of highly sensitive ME laminates with a JFET charge amplifier detection method has been studied. A good correlation was found between the theoretical and experimental noise curves within the measurement bandwidth. The dominating noise sources were found to include the dielectric loss noise, mechanical loss noise of the magneto-electric laminates and the noise sources of the charge amplifier. By using an appropriate low noise JFET charge amplifier, the noise contributions from the amplifier can be made negligible, enabling the measurement of the intrinsic noise of the ME laminates sensor. Thus, we have shown that at low frequencies, below the resonant frequency, the dielectric loss noise predominates with a one-per-root-frequency dependence whereas, around the resonance, the mechanical loss noise prevails over all other noise sources as expected from our theoretical analysis.
New data and a review of historiographic information from Neolithic sites of the Malaga and Algarve coasts (southern Iberian Peninsula) and from the Maghreb (North Africa) reveal the existence of a Neolithic settlement at least from 7.5 cal ka BP. The agricultural and pastoralist food producing economy of that population rapidly replaced the coastal economies of the Mesolithic populations. The timing of this population and economic turnover coincided with major changes in the continental and marine ecosystems, including upwelling intensity, sea-level changes and increased aridity in the Sahara and along the Iberian coast. These changes likely impacted the subsistence strategies of the Mesolithic populations along the Iberian seascapes and resulted in abandonments manifested as sedimentary hiatuses in some areas during the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition. The rapid expansion and area of dispersal of the early Neolithic traits suggest the use of marine technology. Different evidences for a Maghrebian origin for the first colonists have been summarized. The recognition of an early North-African Neolithic influence in Southern Iberia and the Maghreb is vital for understanding the appearance and development of the Neolithic in Western Europe. Our review suggests links between climate change, resource allocation, and population turnover.
The aim of this study was to construct risk maps for the presence of the dominant Leishmania infantum vector, P. perniciosus, and check its usefulness (a) to predict the risk of canine leishmaniasis and (b) to define effective leishmaniasis control measures. We obtained data for the presence/absence of P. perniciosus at 167 sampling sites in southern Spain, from which we also took a series of ecological and climate-related data. The probability of P. perniciosus presence was estimated as a function of these environmental variables and generated spatial risk maps. Altitude, land use and drainage hole features (with or without PVC piping) were retained as the only predictors for the distribution of this vector species. Drainage hole features in retaining walls, with or without PVC piping, produce significant variations in the probability of P. perniciosus presence, varying from 2·3 to 91·8% if PVC piping is absent and from 0·4 to 66·5% if all holes have PVC piping. It was concluded that the use of PVC piping in drainage holes could help to reduce leishmaniasis transmission.
We report the isolation and characterization of ten strains showing an increase in the minimal inhibitory concentrations to penicillin (MICs > 0·1 μg/ml), and describe the epidemiological, clinical and microbiological features.
The susceptibility of 3432 meningococcal strains isolated from patients in the recent epidemic wave (1978–86) in Spain, to several antimicrobial agents used in the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of meningococcal infection has been tested. Most were resistant to sulphadiazine but sensitive to other antibiotics.
The possible existence of a new pattern of behaviour of meningococcal to penicillin is discussed.
An unambiguous physical definition of creatable universes was recently proposed.
According to it, flat and closed Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) backgrounds can be
created as quantum vacuum fluctuations, whereas open backgrounds are not creatable.
Here, physically motivated perturbations of
closed and flat backgrounds are analyzed. Various creatable perturbed FRW universes are thus
found. Some of them involve scalar and tensor perturbations with appropriate
spectra, whereas other ones are Bianchi models.
In this paper we find the optimal regularity for viscosity
solutions of the pseudo infinity Laplacian. We prove that the
solutions are locally Lipschitz and show an example that proves
that this result is optimal. We also show existence and uniqueness
for the Dirichlet problem.
Experimental line profiles can be altered by so-called spectral interference that appears due to different causes. One of the most commonly appearing sources of interference is random noise due to the detector used for measuring the spectra in the laboratory. In this work, the noise is studied using a simulation procedure. This study helps to pinpoint the changes that the noise produces in the parameters of the experimental profiles and, consequently, in the information provided by them.
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