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We describe a new extinct spiny rat, Proclinodontomys dondasi n. gen. n. sp. (Rodentia, Caviomorpha, Echimyidae), represented by a noteworthy preserved skull and mandible from the early-middle Pleistocene outcrops at the coastal cliffs of SE Buenos Aires Province (Central Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses allow us to propose that the new species described here and the already known Eurzygomatomys mordax (Winge) represent a new genus closely related to the living Euryzygomatomys spinosus and Clyomys laticeps. The new genus differs from Euryzygomatomys and Clyomys by having much more procumbent upper incisors, a more developed fossa for the M. temporalis, more flared and laterally expanded zygomatic arches, frontal less markedly expanded posteriorly, jugals much deeper anteriorly than posteriorly, with the dorsal border descending more abruptly posteriorly, smaller orbital cavity, and external auditory meatus relatively smaller and slanted upward and backward. Several features of the new species reflect a higher degree of adaptation to semifossorial habits than those of E. spinosus. The origin of the semifossorial ecomorphotype within echimyids may have been triggered by the expansion of relatively open and arid environments that arose near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. The record of this new echimyid in Central Argentina indicates that during the early-middle Pleistocene, the southern limit of the geographic range of extinct representatives of the Brazilian lineage of semifossorial echimyids extended farther south than that of their living members.
Weaning is a critical transition phase in swine production in which piglets must cope with different stressors that may affect their health. During this period, the prophylactic use of antibiotics is still frequent to limit piglet morbidity, which raises both economic and public health concerns such as the appearance of antimicrobial-resistant microbes. With the interest of developing tools for assisting health and management decisions around weaning, it is key to provide robustness indexes that inform on the animals’ capacity to endure the challenges associated with weaning. This work aimed at developing a modelling approach for facilitating the quantification of piglet resilience to weaning. A total of 325 Large White pigs weaned at 28 days of age were monitored and further housed and fed conventionally during the post-weaning period without antibiotic administration. Body weight and diarrhoea scores were recorded before and after weaning, and blood was sampled at weaning and 1 week later for collecting haematological data. A dynamic model was constructed based on the Gompertz–Makeham law to describe live weight trajectories during the first 75 days after weaning, following the rationale that the animal response is partitioned in two time windows (a perturbation and a recovery window). Model calibration was performed for each animal. Our results show that the transition time between the two time windows, as well as the weight trajectories are characteristic for each individual. The model captured the weight dynamics of animals at different degrees of perturbation, with an average coefficient of determination of 0.99, and a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.99. The utility of the model is that it provides biologically meaningful parameters that inform on the amplitude and length of perturbation, and the rate of animal recovery. Our rationale is that the dynamics of weight inform on the capability of the animal to cope with the weaning disturbance. Indeed, there were significant correlations between model parameters and individual diarrhoea scores and haematological traits. Overall, the parameters of our model can be useful for constructing weaning robustness indexes by using exclusively the growth curves. We foresee that this modelling approach will provide a step forward in the quantitative characterisation of robustness.
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.
The research reported in this Research Communication evaluates the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of Licor de Oro (or Gold Liqueur; LO), a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in Chiloé island, Chile, which is made by mixing milk acidified with lemon juice and alcohol at a ratio of 1.0:1.0, along with sugar and other spices. The mixture is stored for a couple of weeks and then filtered to obtain a product with a yellowish-transparent appearance, sweetness and acidic taste, milky and alcoholic notes. The lack of information regarding LO processing, mainly in the amount of acid added to the mixture, leads to products of highly variable quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of LO. Raw milk was acidified using citric acid to six different pH values: 6.7 (control), 6.0, 5.3, 4.6, 3.9 and 3.2. These milk treatments were then used to make LO. A decrease of milk pH led to LO with higher levels of sensorial and titratable acidity. LO obtained at pH 6.7 and 6.0 had higher levels of total protein than other treatments, leading to excessive turbidity. In contrast, treatments made at pH ≤5.3 had a typical transparent appearance of LO. These results suggest that a minimum level of milk acidification is required to obtain LO with desired appearance and composition.
Manhattan, Berlin and New Delhi all need to take action to adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While case studies on these cities provide valuable insights, comparability and scalability remain sidelined. It is therefore timely to review the state-of-the-art in data infrastructures, including earth observations, social media data, and how they could be better integrated to advance climate change science in cities and urban areas. We present three routes for expanding knowledge on global urban areas: mainstreaming data collections, amplifying the use of big data and taking further advantage of computational methods to analyse qualitative data to gain new insights. These data-based approaches have the potential to upscale urban climate solutions and effect change at the global scale.
Large efforts have been deployed in developing methods to estimate methane emissions from cattle. For large scale applications, accurate and inexpensive methane predictors are required. Within a livestock precision farming context, the objective of this work was to integrate real-time data on animal feeding behaviour with an in silico model for predicting the individual dynamic pattern of methane emission in cattle. The integration of real-time data with a mathematical model to predict variables that are not directly measured constitutes a software sensor. We developed a dynamic parsimonious grey-box model that uses as predictor variables either dry matter intake (DMI) or the intake time (IT). The model is described by ordinary differential equations.
Model building was supported by experimental data of methane emissions from respiration chambers. The data set comes from a study with finishing beef steers (cross-bred Charolais and purebred Luing finishing). Dry matter intake and IT were recorded using feed bins. For research purposes, in this work, our software sensor operated off-line. That is, the predictor variables (DMI, IT) were extracted from the recorded data (rather than from an on-line sensor). A total of 37 individual dynamic patterns of methane production were analyzed. Model performance was assessed by concordance analysis between the predicted methane output and the methane measured in respiration chambers. The model predictors DMI and IT performed similarly with a Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) of 0.78 on average. When predicting the daily methane production, the CCC was 0.99 for both DMI and IT predictors. Consequently, on the basis of concordance analysis, our model performs very well compared with reported literature results for methane proxies and predictive models. As IT measurements are easier to obtain than DMI measurements, this study suggests that a software sensor that integrates our in silico model with a real-time sensor providing accurate IT measurements is a viable solution for predicting methane output in a large scale context.
A low finishing weight and poor carcass characteristics are major causes of lower incomes in extensive sheep flocks; however, the use of terminal sire crossbreeding would improve lamb performance and carcass traits under these conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate sire breed effects on the performance of lambs born to Corriedale ewes in extensive sheep systems in Western Patagonia. A total of 10 Corriedale, 10 Dorset, nine Suffolk and seven Texel sires, 16 of which were under a genetic recorded scheme and 20 selected from flocks not participating in genetic improvement programmes, were used across six commercial farms for 2 successive years. Data were collected from 685 lambs of the four resulting genotypes. Overall, Corriedale lambs were 0.47 kg lighter at birth than crossbred lambs (P<0.001). Suffolk and Texel sired lambs required more assistance (P<0.01) at birth than Corriedale or Dorset sired lambs, with Suffolk sired lambs requiring the most assistance (8%). Ewes sired with Suffolk rams had larger (P<0.05) litters than ewes sired with Texel or Corriedale rams. Lamb live weight gain from birth to weaning was higher (P<0.001) in crossbred lambs compared with Corriedale lambs, therefore, crossbred lambs averaged 2.9 kg heavier BW (P<0.001) than Corriedale lambs. A significant sire breed x sire source interaction was detected for lamb live weight gain (P<0.05) and lamb live weight at weaning (P<0.01), showing that the heaviest lambs were from recorded sires, except for Suffolk crossbred lambs. Mortality rate to weaning was increased (P<0.05) in Suffolk cross lambs (31%), with Corriedale lambs showing the lowest (17%) mortality. Terminal sire breeds increased (P<0.001) cold carcass weight, with 13.8, 16.0, 15.2 and 14.9 kg for the Corriedale, Dorset, Suffolk and Texel sired lambs, respectively. Carcass length, kidney knob and channel fat, fat grade, grade rule and fat depth measurements were not affected by sire breed (P>0.05). Carcass conformation was higher in Texel sired lambs compared with Corriedale lambs (P<0.05), with Dorset and Suffolk sired lambs being intermediate. Crossbred lambs showed a greater (P<0.001) eye muscle than Corriedale. Commercial cuts were affected by sire breed, as a result of the Corriedale lambs being smaller and having lighter carcass than crossbred lambs. Significant improvement in lamb weights at weaning and carcass traits could be expected when using a terminal sire on Corriedale ewes in Western Patagonia. However, no advantages were detected with the use of recorded sires under these production systems.
Two metal fillers with TiC nanoparticles (TiC NPs) of less than 100 nm for the overlay process is an alternative to hardfacing for treating surfaces subjected to severe wear. In this work, the effect of tribological behavior for TiC NPs addition on two Co-based filler materials, as well as the dilutions, was studied. Mixtures of Co-based filler metals without and with 0.5% and 2% TiC NPs were deposited onto D2 steel plates using PTA (Plasma Transferred Arc). The BET surface area was 0.17 m2 g-1 and 0.31 m2 g-1, respectively, for Stellite 6 and 12. The distribution of ca 23% macroporous for Stellite 6 was sufficient to get inside the TiC NPs, as well as in the case of Stellite 12, with a pore distribution of ca 13%. Stellite 12 has an increase in the dilutions (70%) and enthalpies showed endothermic reactions. Stellite 6 with NPs was determined to be most effective in increasing the wear resistance.
Alterations of foetal development in utero can affect the structure and physiology of the adult offspring, a process known as “foetal programming” (Barker, 1994). Results from the first phase of this study indicated that offspring from mature ewes offered a restricted energy intake in early pregnancy were heavier at birth and had improved survival rates to weaning (Muñoz et al., 2006). The aim of the second phase of the study was to determine the effects of plane of ewe nutrition in early and mid pregnancy on carcass characteristics of male offspring and on reproductive performance and concentrations of the adiposity indicator, leptin, in female offspring, post-weaning.
Increasing evidence documents fathers’ influential role in their children’s eating, physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviours (SB). We aimed to expand limited existing research examining fathers’ influence in these areas by exploring Latino fathers’ beliefs, attitudes and practices related to eating, PA and SB of their young children.
Seven focus group discussions were conducted in Spanish with Latino fathers (n 28) of children aged 2–8 years. Audio recordings were transcribed and translated verbatim without identifiers. Data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify key concepts and themes using NVivo 11 software.
Fathers expressed positive beliefs and attitudes about the importance of healthy eating for their young children, themselves and their families. Nevertheless, the majority reported familial practices including eating out, getting take-out, etc. that have been linked to increased obesity risk among Latino children. Fathers were more involved and engaged in children’s PA than eating and feeding. However, several fathers reported engaging predominantly in sedentary activities with their children, appeared permissive of children’s sedentary habits and struggled to set limits on children’s screen-time.
We provide new information on Latino fathers’ beliefs and child feeding and PA practices that may provide important targets for interventions aimed at promoting healthful eating and PA behaviours of Latino children. Future research should further quantify the influence of Latino fathers’ parenting styles and practices on development of children’s eating, PA and SB. This information is needed to identify risk factors amenable to interventions and to design culturally appropriate parenting and family-based interventions targeting Latino children’s home environment and designed to meet this ethnic group’s specific needs.
Slaughter is a crucial step in the meat production chain that could induce psychological stress on each animal, resulting in a physiological response that can differ among individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between an animal’s emotional state, the subsequent psychological stress at slaughter and the cellular damage as an effect. In all, 36 entire male pigs were reared at an experimental farm and a cognitive bias test was used to classify them into positive bias (PB) or negative bias (NB) groups depending on their decision-making capabilities. Half of the animals, slaughtered in the same batch, were used for a complete study of biomarkers of stress, including brain neurotransmitters and some muscle biomarkers of oxidative stress. After slaughter, specific brain areas were excised and the levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA)) and indoleamines (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and serotonin (5HT)) were analyzed. In addition, muscle proteasome activity (20S), antioxidant defence (total antioxidant activity (TAA)), oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation (LPO)) and autophagy biomarkers (Beclin-1, microtubule-associated protein I light chain 3 (LC3-I) and LC3-II) were monitored during early postmortem maturation (0 to 24 h). Compared with PB animals, NB pigs were more susceptible to stress, showing higher 5HT levels (P<0.01) in the hippocampus and lower DA (P<0.001) in the pre-frontal cortex. Furthermore, NB pigs had more intense proteolytic processes and triggered primary muscle cell survival mechanisms immediately after slaughter (0 h postmortem), thus showing higher TAA (P<0.001) and earlier proteasome activity (P<0.001) and autophagy (Beclin-1, P<0.05; LC3-II/LC3-I, P<0.001) than PB pigs, in order to counteract the induced increase in oxidative stress, that was significantly higher in the muscle of NB pigs at 0 h postmortem (LPO, P<0.001). Our study is the first to demonstrate that pig’s cognitive bias influences the animal’s susceptibility to stress and has important effects on the postmortem muscle metabolism, particularly on the cell antioxidant defences and the autophagy onset. These results expand the current knowledge regarding biomarkers of animal welfare and highlight the potential use of biomarkers of the proteasome, the autophagy (Beclin-1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and the muscle antioxidant defence (TAA, LPO) for detection of peri-slaughter stress.
Notoungulates, native South American fossil mammals, have been recently objective of several palaeoecological studies. Ecomorphology and biomechanics of the masticatory apparatus, together with micro and mesowear analyses on tooth enamel, were applied in order to understand their palaeobiology. In particular, the relationship between some dental traits (hypsodonty, occlusal surface area and complexity) and body mass is still poorly understood. These features were measured by means of the hypsodonty index (HI), occlusal surface area (OSA) and tooth area (OTA), enamel crest complexity (ECC) and length (OEL). The relationships between these indices were evaluated in five pan-contemporaneous Santacrucian Notoungulata genera from Patagonia: Adinotherium and Nesodon (Toxodontia), Interatherium, Protypotherium and Hegetotherium (Typotheria). While OSA, OTA and OEL were size dependent and strongly correlated, HI and ECC were size independent. All notoungulates analysed have very hypsodont teeth, indicating high rates of tooth wear in response to an increase of abrasives consumed with the food; their tooth occlusal area and complexity could be related to chewing efforts associated with the toughness of the plants consumed. HI, OSA and ECC were considered useful for palaeoecological reconstructions, but the results presented here show that these three features are integrated as a complex, so should not be evaluated separately.
Articular surfaces reflect the relative movements between adjacent bones, and the ones involved in the elbow joint provide information about forelimb movements and may be useful for making inferences about the substrate use. The proximal articular surface of the ulna was examined through 3-D geometric morphometrics, in order to assess its usefulness as a proxy for paleoecological interpretations; particularly for two small mammals from the early Miocene of Patagonia. The sample was composed of 22 extant small mammals (rodents, carnivorans and primates) and two extinct typotheres: Hegetotherium mirabile (Hegetotheriidae) and Interatherium robustum (Interatheriidae). Forty-five landmarks were taken and principal component analysis (PCA) was used to explore the morphospace structure. The results of PCA for the whole surface were inconclusive; therefore, successive analyses were made, subdividing the surface into sub-units. The PCA for the proximal part of the trochlear notch was the most informative, allowing the recognition of morphospaces with functional value: one for digging rodents and another for most climbers. Neither typothere would have had a specialisation for climbing or digging in the features analysed. This study allows morphological patterns on different parts of a joint to be detected; interpreted, at least partially, as differential responses to different kinds of mechanical stress.
We present studies using different observational techniques, along different frequencies, aiming to resolve and investigate jets, outflows, as well as compact and innermost regions of asymmetric planetary nebulae (PNe) and objects in transition to PN. All the information gathered allow us to explore the kinematics and other important properties of the structures that play a crucial role in the shaping of complex PNe morphologies, in particular, we explore the role of disks/tori as collimating engine of extreme axisymmetric PNe.
Development of polymers with antimicrobial characteristics can avoid deterioration and assist in containing spread of pathogens harmful to human health. This study aimed to compare the antimicrobial and mechanical properties of polymeric matrices containing organic antimicrobial additives. Silver organomodified bentonite (Ag_bentonite) and organochlorine molecule in a masterbatch based polyethylene (Cl_PE) were tested in proportion of 2% in a thermoplastic elastomeric formulation. The polymeric matrices were prepared by melt mixing and evaluated in tensile and antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains. The additives were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The nanoscale of Ag_bentonite was verified by SEM. TGA assay showed that Cl_PE is more sensitive to heat than Ag_bentonite. As a result of this lower thermal stability, the addition of Cl_PE reduced the tensile properties of the compound. The sample with Cl_PE was effective against both bacterial strains, reducing the populations of S. aureus and E. coli in 99 and 96%, respectively. The addition of Ag_bentonite did not affect the tensile strength and decreased in 97 and 40% S. aureus and E. coli populations, respectively. The results indicate that the use of organic additives is promissory, but further modifications in processing must be necessary.
In this work, the deposition and photocatalytic response of V2O5 thin films modified with different amounts of Ag (Ag:V2O5) is reported. Films were deposited on glass and silicon substrates (100), using the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. A high purity vanadium target, with a different number of silver pellets attached on it were used. Thin films were characterized by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to determine the elemental chemical composition; structural changes due to the addition of Ag were monitored by Raman spectroscopy; Optical microscopy was used to observe the surface morphology and UV-Vis spectroscopy was employed to determine optical properties. Photocatalytic response of the prepared films was studied through the degradation of a malachite green solution using a solar irradiation source.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) from diethyl ether, butanol, hexane and ethyl acetate. A quartz tube with a stainless steel tube catalyst core with 0.019 m diameter and 0.6 m large formed the reactor. To avoid combustion, argon was used as the carrier gas. Time process ranged 30 to 60 min. The range of CNTs synthesis temperature was 680-850 °C for different precursors. Scanning Electron Microscopy micrographs have demonstrated tangled CNTs growth in all samples, thus presenting difficult length measurement. The CNTs diameters from diethyl ether are 45-200 nm, butanol diameter range from 55-230 nm, hexane diameter range is 50-130 nm and ethyl acetate range from 100 to 300 nm. Carbon content for all samples was higher than 93 %, CNTs from butanol showed carbon concentration up to 99%. FTIR, Raman and X-Ray Spectroscopies spectra for all samples demonstrated the characteristics signals present in carbon nanotubes. This research proposes a simple, effective and innovative method to synthesize CNTs by CVD on iron stainless steel catalyst in combination with diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, butanol and hexane as precursors by applying the principles of green chemistry, sustainability and its ease to be scaled.
Gold nanoparticles can be used as ultimate electrical materials for storing electrons or controlling their flow for the next generation nano-electronic devices. These particles are the core element of assemblies where the electrical current is reduced to the smallest possible since electrons are controlled one by one by using the Coulomb blockade phenomenon. We prepared colloidal gold nanoparticles beteween 4 and 15 nm and grafted them on a grafted organic monolayer (GOM) on silicon. GOM are highly ordered monolayers prepared by hydrosilylation of alkene molecules and subsequently modified with an amine group so that gold nanoparticles can be firmly immobilized on top of the layer. We discuss several electrical properties at a single electron level. Using the conductive tip of KPFM, we were also able to reveal the spontaneous charging behavior of the gold nanoparticles so that the local work function of a 10 nm gold nanoparticle is only 3.7 eV. By placing an STM tip above a nanoparticle, Coulomb blockade allows controlling the number of electrons simultaneously injected in the nanoparticle. This opens the way for new kinds of single electron memories or single electron transistors.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
Nowadays the aeronautical industry keeps strict quality standards in its dimensional specifications, mechanical properties and microstructural characteristics. Therefore, the involved manufacturing processes require keeping high standards. The nickel based superalloys are present in many components of the jet engines, being the Inconel 718MR superalloy the most common, making up to 50% of the jet engine. This is designed to resist high temperatures, corrosion and creep. The process of rotary forging is a manufacturing process that is currently under scientific and technological development in the aeronautical industry. An Avrami model coupled with a commercial FEM platform (DEFORMTM 3D) was developed to evaluate the average grain size, as a function of the working conditions at 980 °C and 1000 °C. The results provide a better understanding of the influence of temperature in the grain size evolution during the rotary forging process, compared with previous reports.