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Slow-growing, male chickens raised with outdoor access have been found to be a nutritious protein source with 24.83% protein in breast muscle. They have an acceptable carcass quality with at least 20% less abdominal fat, 3% more breast yield, and 3% more thigh yield than the birds raised in confinement. Similarly, slow-growing male chickens grown with outdoor access have a good bone quality with femur weight, length and diameter (16.5 g, 96.7 mm, and 8.61 mm, respectively). Considering fatty acid profile as a meat quality trait, breast muscles of slow-growing birds grown with outdoor access compared to those without such access have significantly higher polyunsaturated fatty acids level (3.85 vs. 3.36%), lower n6:n3 PUFA ratio (7.8 vs. 9.22) and lower saturated fatty acids content (26.29 vs. 28.73%). Raising slow-growing male chickens in production systems with outdoor access has been confirmed to be beneficial for the animals, the producers, the consumers and the environment.
Stomach contents analysis and stable isotope results indicate M. hubbsi is a generalist predator that feeds mainly on demersal fishes, followed by crustaceans and cephalopods. Ontogenetic changes in diet were identified, with fish importance increasing in the diet with hake size. Smaller hake (<250 mm) fed mostly on the sepiolid Semirossia tenera (89.45%IRI) and engraulid fish (89.96%IRI). Mid-sized hake (250–300 mm) fed mainly on benthic fish such as Bellator brachychir (95.63%IRI) and euphausiids (56.46%IRI), while larger hake (>300 mm) fed heavily on Dactylopterus volitans (94.80%IRI) and occasionally on a variety of teleosts. Significant correlations between δ13C (P < 0.05), THg (P < 0.001) and hake size occurred, whereas no relationship was observed between δ15N and hake size or δ15N and total mercury. Signatures were lowest in smaller hake with a tendency of increasing with size. Smaller and larger hake were significantly different in δ13C. Differences regarding isotopic niche width were quantified for each size group; trophic diversity and trophic redundancy among them were negligible, but hake >300 mm possibly have a larger feeding plasticity due to the combination of prey from a wide trophic level range.
We study Higgs bundles over an elliptic curve with complex reductive structure group, describing the (normalisation of) its moduli spaces and the associated Hitchin fibration. The case of trivial degree is covered by the work of Thaddeus in 2001. Our arguments are different from those of Thaddeus and cover arbitrary degree.
Previous studies have shown that the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) is affected by adverse maternal nutrition during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a maternal low-protein diet on proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species and RAS components in kidney samples isolated from adult male offspring. We hypothesized that post-weaning losartan treatment would have beneficial effects on RAS activity and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in these animals. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with a control (20% casein) or low-protein diet (LP) (6% casein) throughout gestation. After weaning, the LP pups were randomly assigned to LP and LP-losartan groups (AT1 receptor blockade: 10 mg/kg/day until 20 weeks of age). At 20 weeks of age, blood pressure levels were higher and renal RAS was activated in the LP group. We also observed several adverse effects in the kidneys of the LP group, including a higher number of CD3, CD68 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells and higher levels of collagen and reactive oxygen species in the kidney. Further, our results revealed that post-weaning losartan treatment completely abolished immune cell infiltration and intrarenal RAS activation in the kidneys of LP rats. The prevention of augmentation of angiotensin (Ang II) concentration abolished inflammatory and fibrotic events, indicating that Ang II via the AT1 receptor is essential for pathological initiation. Our results suggest that the prenatal programming of hypertension is dependent on the up-regulation of local RAS and presence of immune cells in the kidney.
Evolutionary economics sees the economy as always in motion with change being driven largely by continuing innovation. This approach to economics, heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Schumpeter, saw a revival as an alternative way of thinking about economic advancement as a result of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter's seminal book, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, first published in 1982. In this long-awaited follow-up, Nelson is joined by leading figures in the field of evolutionary economics, reviewing in detail how this perspective has been manifest in various areas of economic inquiry where evolutionary economists have been active. Providing the perfect overview for interested economists and social scientists, readers will learn how in each of the diverse fields featured, evolutionary economics has enabled an improved understanding of how and why economic progress occurs.
The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and small white cabbage butterfly (Pieris rapae) are the two main serious pests of cruciferous crops (Brassicaceae) that have developed resistance to chemical control methods. In order to avoid such resistance and also the adverse effects of chemical pesticides on the environment, alternative methods have usually been suggested, including the use of plant enzyme inhibitors. Here, the inhibitory effects of proteinaceous inhibitors extracted from wheat, canola, sesame, bean and triticale were evaluated against the digestive α-amylases, larval growth, development and nutritional indecs of the diamondback moth and small white cabbage butterfly. Our results indicated that triticale and wheat extracts inhibited α-amylolytic activity in an alkaline pH, which is in accordance with the moth and butterfly gut α-amylase optimum pH. Dose-dependent inhibition of two crucifer pests by triticale and wheat was observed using spectrophotometry and gel electrophoresis. Implementation of specificity studies showed that wheat and triticale-proteinaceous extract were inactive against Chinese and purple cabbage amylase. Triticale and wheat were resistant against insects’ gut proteases. Results of the feeding bioassay indicated that triticale-proteinaceous extract could cause a significant reduction in survival and larval body mass. The results of the nutritional indecs also showed larvae of both species that fed on a Triticale proteinaceous inhibitor-treated diet had the lowest values for the efficiency of conversion of ingested food and relative growth rate. Our observations suggested that triticale shows promise for use in the management of crucifer pests.
Pressure- and volume-imposed rheology is used to study suspensions of non-colloidal, rigid fibres in the concentrated regime for aspect ratios ranging from 3 to 15. The suspensions exhibit yield stresses. Subtracting these apparent yield stresses reveals a viscous scaling for both the shear and normal stresses. The variation in aspect ratio does not affect the friction coefficient (ratio of shear and normal stresses), but increasing the aspect ratio lowers the maximum volume fraction at which the suspension flows. Constitutive laws are proposed for the viscosities and the friction coefficient close to the jamming transition.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can induce deleterious changes in the modulatory ability of the vascular endothelium, contributing to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the long term. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has suggested the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular health and repair. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of IUGR on vascular reactivity and EPCs derived from the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed an ad libitum diet (control group) or 50% of the ad libitum diet (restricted group) throughout gestation. We determined vascular reactivity, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression by evaluating the thoracic aorta of adult male offspring from both groups (aged: 19–20 weeks). Moreover, the amount, functional capacity, and senescence of EPCs were assessed in vitro. Our results indicated that IUGR reduced vasodilation via acetylcholine in aorta rings, decreased NO levels, and increased eNOS phosphorylation at Thr495. The amount of EPCs was similar between both groups; however, IUGR decreased the functional capacity of EPCs from the PB and BM. Furthermore, the senescence process was accelerated in BM-derived EPCs from IUGR rats. In summary, our findings demonstrated the deleterious changes in EPCs from IUGR rats, such as reduced EPC function and accelerated senescence in vitro. These findings may contribute towards elucidating the possible mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction induced by fetal programming.
It has been demonstrated that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can program increase cardiometabolic risk. There are also evidences of the correlation between IUGR with low-grade inflammation and, thus can contribute to development of several cardiometabolic comorbidities. Therefore, we investigated the influence of IUGR on circulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)/Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and TNF-α expression in adult offspring. Considering that the aerobic training has anti-inflammatory actions, we also investigated whether aerobic training would improve these inflammatory factors. Pregnant Wistar rats received ad libitum or 50% of ad libitum diet throughout gestation. At 8 weeks of age, male offspring from both groups were randomly assigned to control, trained control, restricted and trained restricted. Aerobic training protocol was performed on a treadmill and after that, we evaluated circulating mtDNA, cardiac protein expression of TLR9, plasma and cardiac TNF-α levels, and left ventricle (LV) mass. We found that IUGR promoted an increase in the circulating mtDNA, TLR9 expression and plasma TNF-α levels. Further, our results revealed that aerobic training can restore mtDNA/TLR9 content and plasma levels of TNF-α among restricted rats. The cardiac TNF-α content and LV mass were not influenced either by IUGR or aerobic training. In conclusion, IUGR can program mtDNA/TLR9 content, which may lead to high levels of TNF-α. However, aerobic training was able to normalize these alterations. These findings evidenced that the association of IUGR and aerobic training seems to exert an important interaction effect regarding pro-inflammatory condition and, aerobic training may be used as a strategy to reduce deleterious adaptations in IUGR offspring.
A promising species for tropical dendrochronology is Pinus lagunae, a pine tree found in Baja California Sur (Mexico) around lat 23.5°N. In 1995, we sampled a total of 27 wood cores from 13 Pinus lagunae trees in Sierra La Victoria (23°36'N, 109°56'W), just north of Sierra La Laguna, at an elevation of 1500–1600 m. Selected trees were locally dominant, but their ring-width patterns could not be crossdated. To test the hypothesis that visible growth layers in Pinus lagunae are formed annually, we measured radiocarbon amounts in individual rings by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Twenty-three 14C measurements were used to trace the location of the 1963–64 “bomb spike” in 3 wood increment cores. By comparing the location of that δ14C extreme with the number of visible radial wood increments, it was possible to conclude that 2 cores had a number of locally absent rings, while the 3rd one included a few years with more than one growth layer. Therefore, ring-width patterns of sampled Pinus lagunae were not consistent from one tree to another, most likely because of climatic regime in combination with microsite features. While the possibility of generating Pinus lagunae tree-ring chronologies cannot entirely be ruled out, the development of dendrochronological proxy records of climate from coniferous species in tropical North America should focus on species and sites that experience a more pronounced seasonality.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
For studies examining risk factors of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), confounding can stem from characteristics of partners of study subjects, and persist after adjustment for the subjects’ individual-level characteristics. Two conditions that can result in confounding by the subjects’ partners are: (C1) partner choice is assortative by the risk factor examined and, (C2) sexual activity is associated with the risk factor. The objective of this paper is to illustrate the potential impact of the assortativity bias in studies examining STI risk factors, using smoking and human papillomavirus (HPV) as an example. We developed an HPV transmission-dynamic mathematical model in which we nested a cross-sectional study assessing the smoking–HPV association. In our base case, we assumed (1) no effect of smoking on HPV, and (2) conditions C1–C2 hold for smoking (based on empirical data). The assortativity bias caused an overestimation of the odds ratio (OR) in the simulated study after perfect adjustment for the subjects’ individual-level characteristics (adjusted OR 1·51 instead of 1·00). The bias was amplified by a lower basic reproductive number (R0), greater mixing assortativity and stronger association of smoking with sexual activity. Adjustment for characteristics of partners is needed to mitigate assortativity bias.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.