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The Kempen system is a dairy feeding system in which diet is provided in the form of a compound feed (CF) and hay offered ad libitum. Ad libitum access to CF and hay allows cows in this system to achieve a high DM intake (DMI). Out of physiological concerns, the voluntary hay intake could be increased and the consumption pattern of CF could be manipulated to maintain proper rumen functioning and health. This study investigated the effects of an artificial hay aroma and CF formulation on feed intake pattern, rumen function and milk production in mid- to late-lactating dairy cows. Twenty Holstein–Friesian cows were assigned to four treatments in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Diet consisted of CF and grass hay (GH), fed separately, and both offered ad libitum, although CF supply was restricted in maximum meal size and speed of supply by an electronic system. Treatments were the combination of two CF formulations – high in starch (CHS) and fibre (CHF); and two GH – untreated (UGH) and the same hay treated with an artificial aroma (TGH). Meal criteria were determined using three-population Gaussian–Gaussian–Weibull density functions. No GH × CF interaction effects on feed intake pattern characteristics were found. Total DMI and CF intake, but not GH intake, were greater (P < 0.01) in TGH treatment, and feed intake was not affected by type of CF. Total visits to feeders per day, visits to the GH feeder, visits to the CF feeder and CF eating time (all P < 0.01) were significantly greater in cows fed with TGH. Meal frequency, meal size and meal duration were unaffected by treatments. Cows fed CHF had a greater milk fat (P = 0.02), milk urea content (P < 0.01) and a greater milk fat yield (P < 0.01). Cows fed TGH had a greater milk lactose content and lactose yield (P < 0.05), and milk urea content (P < 0.01). Cows fed TGH had smaller molar proportions of acetic acid and greater molar proportions of propionic acid compared with UGH. In conclusion, treatment of GH with an artificial aroma increased CF intake and total DMI, but did not affect hay intake. Additionally, GH treatment increased the frequency of visits to both feeders, and affected rumen volatile fatty acid profile. Type of CF did not affect meal patterns, ruminal pH, nor fermentation profiles.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex and progressive condition that is either idiopathic or heritable, or associated with one or multiple health conditions, with or without congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease. Recent developments have tremendously increased the armamentarium of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in children and young adults with pulmonary hypertension that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. These modalities include non-invasive imaging, pharmacotherapy, interventional and surgical procedures, and supportive measures. The optimal, tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for pulmonary hypertension in the young are rapidly evolving but still face enormous challenges: Healthcare providers need to take the patient’s age, development, disease state, and family concerns into account when initiating advanced diagnostics and treatment. Therefore, there is a need for guidance on core and advanced medical training in paediatric pulmonary hypertension. The Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology working group “pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and transplantation” has produced this document as an expert consensus statement; however, all recommendations must be considered and applied in the context of the local and national infrastructure and legal regulations.
The German Twin Family Panel (TwinLife) is a German longitudinal study of monozygotic and dizygotic same-sex twin pairs and their families that was designed to investigate the development of social inequalities over the life course. The study covers an observation period from approximately 2014 to 2023. The target population of the sample are reared-together twins of four different age cohorts that were born in 2009/2010 (cohort 1), in 2003/2004 (cohort 2), in 1997/1998 (cohort 3) and between 1990 and 1993 (cohort 4). In the first wave, the study included data on 4097 twin families. Families were recruited in all parts of Germany so that the sample comprises the whole range of the educational, occupational and income structure. As of 2019, two face-to-face, at-home interviews and two telephone interviews have been conducted. Data from the first home and telephone interviews are already available free of charge as a scientific use-file from the GESIS data archive. This report aims to provide an overview of the study sample and design as well as constructs that are unique in TwinLife in comparison with previous twin studies — such as an assessment of cognitive abilities or information based on the children’s medical records and report cards. In addition, major findings based on the data already released are displayed, and future directions of the study are presented and discussed.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
This study aimed to evaluate the transcriptional changes occurring in isolated perfused mammary alveolar tissue in response to inoculation with S. agalactiae and to identify the most affected biological functions and pathways after 3 h. Four udders taken at slaughter from cows with healthy mammary gland were perfused ex situ with warmed and gassed Tyrode's solution. Mammary alveolar tissue samples were taken from the left fore and rear quarters (IQ-inoculated quarters) before inoculation (hour 0) and at 3 h post inoculation (hpi) and at the same times from control right fore and rear quarters (not inoculated: NIQ). A total of 1756 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between IQ and NIQ at 3 hpi using edgeR package. Within this set of DEGs, 952 were up regulated and mainly involved with innate immune response and inflammatory response, e.g., CD14, CCL5, TLR2, IL-8, SAA3, as well as in transcriptional regulation such as FOS, STAT3 and NFKBIA. Genes down-regulated (804) included those involved with lipid synthesis e.g., APOC2, SCD, FABP3 and FABP4. The most affected pathways were chemokine signaling, Wnt signaling and complement and coagulation cascades, which likely reflects the early stage response of mammary tissue to S. agalactiae infection. No significant gene expression changes were detected by RNA-Seq in the others contrasts. Real time-PCR confirmed the increase in mRNA abundance of immune-related genes: TLR2, TLR4, IL-1β, and IL-10 at 3 hpi between IQ and NIQ. The expression profiles of Casp1 and Bax for any contrasts were unaffected whereas Bcl2 was increased in IQ, which suggests no induction of apoptosis during the first hours after infection. Results provided novel information regarding the early functional pathways and gene network that orchestrate innate immune responses to S. agalactiae infection. This knowledge could contribute to new strategies to enhance resistance to this disease, such as genomic selection.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Feed represents a substantial proportion of production costs in the dairy industry and is a useful target for improving overall system efficiency and sustainability. The objective of this study was to develop methodology to estimate the economic value for a feed efficiency trait and the associated methane production relevant to Canada. The approach quantifies the level of economic savings achieved by selecting animals that convert consumed feed into product while minimizing the feed energy used for inefficient metabolism, maintenance and digestion. We define a selection criterion trait called Feed Performance (FP) as a 1 kg increase in more efficiently used feed in a first parity lactating cow. The impact of a change in this trait on the total lifetime value of more efficiently used feed via correlated selection responses in other life stages is then quantified. The resulting improved conversion of feed was also applied to determine the resulting reduction in output of emissions (and their relative value based on a national emissions value) under an assumption of constant methane yield, where methane yield is defined as kg methane/kg dry matter intake (DMI). Overall, increasing the FP estimated breeding value by one unit (i.e. 1 kg of more efficiently converted DMI during the cow’s first lactation) translates to a total lifetime saving of 3.23 kg in DMI and 0.055 kg in methane with the economic values of CAD $0.82 and CAD $0.07, respectively. Therefore, the estimated total economic value for FP is CAD $0.89/unit. The proposed model is robust and could also be applied to determine the economic value for feed efficiency traits within a selection index in other production systems and countries.
The use of additives such as ractopamine (Rac) in pregnant sows during early-mid pregnancy is an alternative to increase foetal and progeny growth and development. However, Rac supplementation in finishing pigs can lead to behavioural and physiological changes similar to the typical stress responses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with Rac in pregnant sows from day 25 to 50 of gestation (pre-hyperplastic stage) on piglet’s vitality, blood parameters, number, diameter and perimeter of muscle fibres in semitendinosus muscle and developmental characteristics of piglets at birth to weaning. Forty-one hybrid sows were divided into three dietary treatments: (1) control diet without Rac (control), (2) addition of 10 mg/kg of Rac (Rac10) and (3) addition of 20 mg/kg of Rac (Rac20). Higher numbers of low-vitality piglets (P<0.05) were observed in Rac-fed sows, regardless of dose, compared with the control group. Very low-density lipoprotein levels were lower in the Rac10 group when compared with the Rac20 group at day 21. Haematocrit was greater, and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration was lower in piglets from Rac-fed sows. No significant statistical differences were detected regarding piglets body weight, average daily gain, blood gasometry, complete blood count and muscle fibre measurements in semitendinosus muscle. The use of Rac in pregnant sows reduced the vitality parameters of piglets but did not improve the performance from birth until weaning and did not negatively influence the haematological parameter and lipid metabolism.
Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) is a novel approach to pre-slaughter stunning of chickens using progressive hypobaric hypoxia by the application of gradual decompression (280s cycle) according to a set of prescribed pressure curves. Low atmospheric pressure stunning produces a non-recovery state. Concerns have been raised relating to the possible pathological and welfare consequences of expansion of air in the body during LAPS. In a randomised trial, we compared the gross pathology of broilers exposed to LAPS with a control group euthanised by intravenous injection of pentobarbital sodium (60 mixed sex broilers per treatment). The birds were exposed to each treatment in triplets and all birds were subject to necropsy examination to detect and score (1 to 5, minimal to severe) haemorrhagic lesions or congestion for all major organs and cavities (e.g. air sacs, joints, ears and heart) as well as external assessment for product quality (e.g. wing tips). Behavioural data (latency to loss of posture and motionless) and chamber cycle data (temperature, humidity, pressure and oxygen availability) confirmed that LAPS had been applied in a manner representative of the commercial process. All of the organs observed were structurally intact for both treatment groups. No lesions were observed in the external ears, oral cavity, tracheal lumen, crop and air sacs of birds from either treatment group. There was no difference between treatments in the wingtips, nasal turbinates, thymus, biceps femoralis and colon. Haemorrhagic lesions were observed in the calvaria, brains, hearts and lungs of both treatment groups, but lesions in these areas were more severe in the LAPS treatment group. It was not possible to distinguish between pathological changes induced by decompression or recompression. In the barbiturate group, more severe haemorrhagic lesions were observed in the superficial pectoral muscles as well as greater congestion of the infraorbital sinuses, liver, spleens, duodenum, kidneys and gonads. These findings provide evidence that LAPS did not result in distension of the intestines and air sacs sufficient to cause changes, which were grossly visible on postmortem examination. There was also no evidence of barotrauma in the ears and sinuses. The pathological changes observed in the barbiturate treatment were as expected based on barbiturate toxicity. Low atmospheric pressure stunning appears to produce pathological changes by a variety of well-established mechanisms, and while these pathological data have limited value as welfare indicators, the results confirm that organ integrity was not compromised by the process.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Effective community engagement in T3–T4 research is widespread, however, similar stakeholder involvement is missing in T1–T2 research. As part of an effort to embed community stakeholders in T1–T2 research, an academic community partnered team conducted discussion groups with researchers to assess perspectives on (1) barriers/challenges to including community stakeholders in basic science, (2) skills/training required for stakeholders and researchers, and (3) potential benefits of these activities. Engaging community in basic science research was perceived as challenging but with exciting potential to incorporate “real-life” community health priorities into basic research, resulting in a new full-spectrum translational research model.
The main aim of this study was to confirm the relationship between executive performance and salivary alpha-amylase (SAA) activity in a sample of 64 healthy children (39 boys), and compare it to the association of SAA output and salivary flow rate (SFR). Executive functioning was assessed via fluency, trail-making, rings and inhibition tasks from the Batería de Evaluación Neuropsicológica de la Función Ejecutiva en Niños [Battery of Neuropsychological Assessment for Executive Function in Children] (ENFEN), merged into an ENFEN total score. SAA activity, output, and SFR were measured at baseline, one minute before, and one minute after the end of a neuropsychological testing session. Our results confirmed a direct, linear and significant association between SAA activity and executive functioning, r(64) = .351, p < .05, and extended it to SAA output, r(64) =.431, p < .05. The mean level of SAA output was the best predictor of executive functioning (β = .431, p < .05) and explained 18.2 % of the variance in ENFEN total score. In sum, and compared to SAA activity, measuring SAA output may be a more precise and indirect marker to assess executive functioning in children.
We describe the new species ognitite, NiBiTe, and a Co-rich variety of maucherite, hitherto unreported; both were discovered in the Ognit ultramafic complex of Neoproterozoic age in Eastern Sayans, Russia. The mean composition of ognitite (n = 7) is: Ni 17.05, Fe 0.07, Cu 0.14, Pd 0.14, Te 32.53, Bi 49.64, total 99.57 wt.%, corresponding to: (Ni1.11Cu0.008Fe0.005Pd0.005)Σ1.13Bi0.90Te0.97 (Σ atoms = 3 apfu). Ognitite is trigonal, space group P3m1 [R1 = 0.0276 for 81 reflections with Fo > 4σ(Fo)]. The unit-cell parameters derived from the single-crystal X-ray diffraction data are: a = 3.928(1) Å, c = 5.385(1) Å and V = 71.95(4) Å3, with Z = 1. The c:a ratio is 1.37. The powder X-ray diffraction data obtained on the same fragment used for the single-crystal study are: a = 3.9332(4) Å, c = 5.3920(6) Å and V = 72.24(1) Å3. Ognitite exhibits the brucite-type structure with edge-sharing NiTe3Bi3 octahedra forming sheets parallel to (0001). It is related to melonite, but is distinct compositionally by the extreme Bi-enrichment (melonite and its synthetic analogue contain <0.4 Bi apfu), and structurally as Bi and Te are ordered at two distinct sites, leading to the loss of the centre of symmetry in ognitite.
At more than 9 wt.% Co, or ~2 apfu Co, the core of Co-rich maucherite [(Ni,Co)11As8] in a zoned crystal, which is surrounded by Co-depleted orcelite, far surpasses the norm (≤1 and up to 3.9 wt.% Co). The unit-cell parameters of the Co-rich maucherite are: a = 6.85(2) and c = 21.83(5) Å, which are based on results of synchrotron micro-Laue diffraction.
The host rock consists of serpentine, clinochlore (Mg# 95–97) and skeletal chromite. We favour the metastable crystallisation of fluid-saturated globules of a sulfide–arsenide melt to explain the anomalous compositions of ore minerals at Ognit. These anomalies seem consistent with rapid cooling in a fluid-enriched system, possibly related to late-stage degassing of the magma, as reflected in a prominent metasomatic aureole at the contact with the enclosing gneissic rocks.
Chromitite zones associated with ultramafic units of the Lysanskiy layered complex of dunite–peridotite–gabbro composition could well represent the primary source for the placers bearing platinum-group minerals (PGM) of the entire drainage of the River Sisim and its tributaries, the rivers Ko and Seyba, eastern Sayans. Alluvial gold present in the placers of River Seyba, as elsewhere in the Sisim Placer Zone, reflects mineralisation during a recent period of tectonic activity. We focus on the PGM in the Seyba suite, and in particular on the attributes of pentlandite enriched in platinum-group-elements (PGE) and the compositionally similar and recently defined ferhodsite, which were trapped in host grains of Os–Ir–Ru alloy. Both minerals formed from small volumes of fractionated Fe–Ni–Cu melt considerably enriched in the PGE. In the Seyba suite, as in several others, the amounts of PGE in ferhodsite exceeds that in pentlandite, which results in a greater proportion of vacancies than in pentlandite.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
In this article, an extremely wideband, isolation-enhanced, low-profile “Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output” (MIMO) antenna along with dual-band-notched features has been investigated. The antenna proposed herein, possesses two mutually orthogonal staircase-etched radiators for achieving a wide bandwidth. The radiating elements are placed mutually perpendicular in order to achieve polarization diversity and high isolation, i.e. for minimization of mutual coupling effect between adjacent radiating elements. The antenna exhibits an extremely wide frequency bandwidth covering 1.2–19.4 GHz except two frequency band notches centered at 3.5 and 5.5 GHz, respectively, originated due to the incorporation of a “Rectangular Complementary Split Ring Resonator (RCSRR)” structure and by etching dual “L-shaped” slits in the ground plane. The center frequency of the notched bands is adjusted by fine tuning of the dimensions of the incorporated band-notching structures. Isolation level (S21) better than −20 dB has been obtained due to the insertion of a “T-shaped” parasitic element as a decoupling structure. A prototype of the proposed antenna having dimension of 20 mm × 20 mm (0.08 λo × 0.08 λo) is fabricated and the antenna responses have been measured. Obtained results show that the miniaturized MIMO diversity antenna is undoubtedly a capable contender for communications supporting an extremely wide impedance bandwidth along with band-notched features for WLAN and WiMAX.
Depth profiling is performed by monochromatic primary excitation using variable incidence and take-off angles, A proper choice of the photon energy and the angular range of incident radiation allows depth profiling of layered structures without comparison to reference samples. The method has been verified for two different systems. Thin Al(x)Ga(1-x)As-layers on GaAs substrates are characterized by thickness D and atomic ratio x. For an excitation of AlKα-radiation by SiKα-radiation from a secondary target, the lower limit of measurement is layer thicknesses of 40 to 80 nm at x=0.6 to 0.4. Zn-coatings on steel have been investigated with CuKα radiation for selective excitation of FeKα-radiation from the substrate and with GeKα radiation for the excitation of ZnKα radiation from the layer. The scatter of the results required a measurement of the lateral homogeneity of the coating thickness. These experiments have been performed by step scanning in steps of 1 mm under fixed incidence and take-off geometry over an area of 30mm*30mm and excitation with unfiltered radiation from a Cu target diffraction tube with a beam cross section of less than 1 mm2. The obtained thickness distribution of ±20% has been confirmed by electron micrographs.