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In Germany all keepers of livestock are legally required to record animal welfare indicators as part of their on-farm self-assessment. The Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture (Kuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft e.V. (KTBL)) has suggested the use of a particular set of animal welfare indicators in their publication Animal welfare indicators: Practical guide – Pigs. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the inter-observer reliability (Inter-OR) and intra-observer reliability (Intra-OR) of these indicators with respect to the welfare of fattening pigs. For the assessment of Inter-OR, three observers evaluated six KTBL animal welfare indicators. The Inter-OR of the indicators was calculated from the results using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). ‘Excellent’ Inter-OR results were found for the indicators tail length (ICC 0.89), skin lesions (ICC 0.77) and ear lesions (ICC 0.80). In contrast, the Inter-OR of the indicators tail lesions (ICC 0.46) and faecal soiling (ICC 0.47) were considered to be only ‘fair’ and that of the indicator lameness (ICC 0.36) as ‘poor’. For the evaluation of the Intra-OR, the same three observers assessed the welfare of 162 to 200 fattening pigs using the same welfare indicators in total eight times. Again ICCs, here per indicator and observer, were used to calculate the Intra-OR. The Intra-OR of the indicators faecal soiling (ICC 0.81) and ear lesions (ICC 0.97) lay in the ‘excellent’ range on average. While the Intra-OR of the indicators skin lesions (ICC 0.67), tail length (ICC 0.74) and lameness (ICC 0.60) could still be considered as being ‘good’, the Intra-OR of the indicator tail lesions (ICC 0.52) could only be assessed as being ‘fair’. From these results the significance of the KTBL indicators could be judged as follows: it is possible to use all the chosen indicators apart from the indicator tail lesions as an internal controlling instrument or as part of an internal weak-point analysis as long as the indicators are evaluated by the same person. A comparison of the indicators tail lesions, lameness and faecal soiling when assessed by different observers should be considered critically because the Inter-OR of these three indicators could only be considered as being ‘poor’ to ‘fair’.
The method of stellar velocity variations measurement has recently shown its capability by discovering tens of extra-solar planets. Accuracies achieved today are in the range of 3 to 10 m/s. The spectrograph EMILIE coupled to the Absolute Astronomical Accelerometer (AAA) system and established at the 1.52 m telescope of the Observatoire de Haute Provence is an instrument which aims at reaching an accuracy better than 1 m/s, long term. Results on some typical stars are presented.
In order to ensure the quality of the source catalogue derived from the SASS processing an automatic as well as a visual screening procedure was applied to 1378 survey fields. Most (94%) of the 18,811 sources were confirmed by this screening process. The rest is flagged for various reasons. Broad band images are available for a subset of the flagged sources. Details of the screening process can be found at www.rosat.mpe-garching.mpg.de/survey/rass-bsc/doc.html.
The spectrograph EMILIE (Bouchy et al., 1999; Bouchy, 1999; Bouchy et al., 2000) coupled to the Absolute Astronomical Accelerometer (AAA, Connes, 1985; Schmitt, 1997) and implemented at the 152-cm Coudé telescope of the Observatoire de Haute Provence is dedicated to high-precision Doppler measurements. The AAA method uses a sliding reference spectrum constrained to track the stellar lines and to use the spectrograph as a null-checking device. The goal of AAA is to eliminate the calibration of the spectrograph as well as the displacement of the spectra across the CCD pixels due to the earth motion (and suspected to introduce a systematic error in the RV measurement). Here we report seismological results obtained with AAA on the Sun and the bright stars Procyon and ζ Her A that are expected to present solar-like oscillations.
We have observed Procyon with the fiber-fed échelle spectrograph ELODIE coupled with a Fabry-Perot etalon at the 193-cm of the Observatoire de Haute Provence (France) over 5 nights during 1997 December – 1998 January. Here, we present the results of a search for solar-like oscillations on this star and the performance of this instrumentation for asteroseismology. The power spectra show an excess of signal between 0.42 mHz and 1.46 mHz, which could be due to stellar oscillations.
On 1980 February 20 we conducted an 8-station intercontental VLBI experiment in order to study the nucleus and jet of M87 at 1666.6 MHz in right circular polarization. Our array was sensitive to structures from 0.001 to 0.1 arcsec. We made a hybrid map of the nucleus of M87, and also searched for compact structures within the knots of the jet. The map (Figure 1) shows that the nucleus of M87 contains a one-sided jet. This morphology is similar to that observed in many compact extragalactic sources. The position angle of the nuclear jet is 290.5 (±1) degrees, which precisely matches that of the 20 arcsec jet. No bending of the jet through an angle greater than about 2 degrees is observed. The nucleus also contains a large component (>0.1 arcsec) which is elongated along the same position angle as the jet and has a flux density of roughly 1 Jy. This component is fully resolved by the vast majority of our (u, v) points, and we could not map it with standard techniques.
To identify the source of a pseudo-outbreak of Mycobacterium gordonae
University Hospital in Chicago, Ilinois.
Hospital patients with M. gordonae-positive clinical cultures.
An increase in isolation of M. gordonae from clinical cultures was noted immediately following the opening of a newly constructed hospital in January 2012. We reviewed medical records of patients with M. gordonae-positive cultures collected between January and December 2012 and cultured potable water specimens in new and old hospitals quantitatively for mycobacteria.
Of 30 patients with M. gordonae-positive clinical cultures, 25 (83.3%) were housed in the new hospital; of 35 positive specimens (sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, gastric aspirate), 32 (91.4%) had potential for water contamination. M. gordonae was more common in water collected from the new vs. the old hospital [147 of 157 (93.6%) vs. 91 of 113 (80.5%), P=.001]. Median concentration of M. gordonae was higher in the samples from the new vs. the old hospital (208 vs. 48 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL; P<.001). Prevalence and concentration of M. gordonae were lower in water samples from ice and water dispensers [13 of 28 (46.4%) and 0 CFU/mL] compared with water samples from patient rooms and common areas [225 of 242 (93%) and 146 CFU/mL, P<.001].
M. gordonae was common in potable water. The pseudo-outbreak of M. gordonae was likely due to increased concentrations of M. gordonae in the potable water supply of the new hospital. A silver ion-impregnated 0.5-μm filter may have been responsible for lower concentrations of M. gordonae identified in ice/water dispenser samples. Hospitals should anticipate that construction activities may amplify the presence of waterborne nontuberculous mycobacterial contaminants.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) is a chronic disease affecting about 23% of the European population with increasing prevalence rates. Beside classical symptoms (i.e. sneezing, nasal congestion), patients frequently complain about subjective impairments in cognitive functioning during periods of acute allergic inflammation. However, objective evidence for such deficits or the role of potential modulators and underlying mechanisms is limited. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of SAR on attention-related cognitive processes. In addition, relationships between attention performance, sleep and mood disturbances as well as specific disease characteristics as potential modulators of this link were explored.
SAR patients (n = 41) and non-allergic healthy controls (n = 42) completed a set of attention tasks during a symptomatic allergy period and during a non-symptomatic period. Influences of sleep, mood, total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and individual allergy characteristics on cognitive performance were evaluated.
Compared to healthy controls, SAR patients had a slower processing speed during both symptomatic and non-symptomatic allergy periods. Additionally, they showed a more flexible adjustment in attention control, which may serve as a compensatory strategy. Reduction in processing speed was positively associated with total IgE levels whereas flexible adjustment of attention was linked with anxious mood. No association was found between SAR-related attention deficits and allergy characteristics or sleep.
SAR represents a state that is crucially linked to impairments in information processing and changes in attentional control adjustments. These cognitive alterations are more likely to be influenced by mood and basal inflammatory processes than sleep impairments or subjective symptom severity.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of butaphosphan and cyanocobalamin (BTPC) supplementation on plasma metabolites and milk production in postpartum dairy cows. A total of fifty-two Holstein cows were randomly assigned to receive either: (1) 10 ml of saline (NaCl 0.9%, control group); (2) 1000 mg of butaphosphan and 0.5 mg of cyanocobalamin (BTPC1 group); and (3) 2000 mg of butaphosphan and 1.0 mg of cyanocobalamin (BTPC2 group). All cows received injections every 5 days from calving to 20 days in milk (DIM). Blood samples were collected every 15 days from calving until 75 DIM to determine serum concentration of glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), cholesterol, urea, calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), aminotransferase aspartate (AST) and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT). The body condition score (BCS) and milk production were evaluated from calving until 90 DIM. Increasing doses of BTPC caused a linear reduction in plasma concentrations of NEFA and cholesterol. Supplementation of BTPC also reduced concentrations of BHB but it did not differ between the two treatment doses. Milk yield and milk protein had a linear increase with increasing doses of BTPC. A quadratic effect was detected for milk fat and total milk solids according to treatment dose, and BTPC1 had the lowest mean values. Concentrations of glucose, urea, P, Mg, AST, GGT, milk lactose and BCS were not affected by treatment. These results indicate that injections of BTPC during the early postpartum period can reduce NEFA and BHB concentrations and increase milk production in Holstein cows.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of prepartum somatotropin injection in late-pregnant Holstein heifers on metabolism, milk production and resumption of postpartum ovulation. For this study, 31 late-pregnant Holstein heifers were used. The heifers were assigned randomly into two treatments: (1) 500 mg sc injections of somatotropin (somatotropin treatment, n = 15) at −35 and −21 days, and, if pertinent, at −7 days from expected calving date and (2) no treatment (control group, n = 16). Blood samples were collected weekly from −5 to 7 weeks after calving. Heifers with progesterone concentrations in plasma above 1 ng/ml in two consecutive postpartum samples were considered as having resumed ovarian activity. A higher proportion (P = 0.04) of heifers treated with somatotropin resumed ovarian activity in the first 7 weeks post partum (73.3%; 11/15) compared with the control group (37.5%; 6/16). A higher number (P = 0.02) of heifers in the somatotropin treatment group also ovulated during the first postpartum follicular wave (53.3%; 8/15) compared with the control group (12.5%; 2/16), as indicated by the number of heifers ovulating in the first 3 weeks post partum. Pregnancy rate was not affected by treatments (P > 0.10) and averaged 40.0% (6/15) in somatotropin-treated and 25.0% (4/16) in control heifers when evaluated up to 150 days in milk. Somatotropin treatment increased the average daily milk production by 2.8 kg/cow per day (P < 0.0001) and reduced the somatic cell count (P = 0.009). Plasma IGF-I was higher (P < 0.05) for somatotropin-treated heifers in the prepartum period. Insulin and body condition score were higher (P < 0.05) and non-esterified fatty acids were lower (P < 0.05) for somatotropin-treated cows in the early postpartum period. In conclusion, somatotropin injection during the prepartum period in late-pregnant Holstein heifers was able to increase the proportion of heifers resuming ovarian activity early post partum, inspite of higher milk production.
The observation of transit light curves has become a key technique in the study of exoplanets, since modeling the resulting transit photometry yields a wealth of information on the planetary systems. Considering that the limited accuracy of ground-based photometry does directly translate into uncertainties in the derived model parameters, simplified spherical planet models were appropriate in the past. With the advent of space-based instrumentation capable of providing photometry of unprecedented accuracy, however, a need for more realistic models has arisen.
Results on the nonlinear properties of solutions of Buckminsterfullerene in toluene are reported. Optical limiting thresholds are as low as 15 mJ/cm2 with multiple pulse stability. Evidence for a different mechanism than that applicable in graphitic carbon black suspensions is presented. The calculated second hyperpolarizability agrees with experimentally reported values.
The association of lipid or surfactant molecules into spherical vesicles in solution constitutes a primary self-assembly process, although typical vesicles are not the equilibrium form of aggregation for most lipids. Such meta-stable vesicles can undergo a secondary self-assembly into higher order structures in a controlled and reversible manner by means of site-specific ligandreceptor coupling. Cryo-electron microscopy shows these structures to be composed of tethered vesicles in their original, unstressed state. In contrast, vesicles aggregated by non-specific forces are deformed. In this work, we show that equilibrium vesicles can also undergo a secondary selfassembly via ligand-receptor interactions, as evidenced by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Such site-specific vesicle aggregation provides a practical mechanism for the production of stable, yet controllable, microstructured materials.
The process conditions during SiC bulk crystal growth by physical vapor transport (PVT) are studied both theoretically and experimentally focussing on the magnitude of achievable growth rates V and possible correlations with defect formation. An increase of micropipe density with crystallization rate is observed. Growth parameters determining V are identified allowing a general non-dimensional representation of the dependencies of growth rate from kinetics, mass transport and heat transfer. It can be shown that at conventional process conditions of SiC growth by sublimation in graphite environment (5 mbar ≤p≤ 100 mbar, 2400K ≤T≤ 2600K) growth is limited by diffusion and kinetics for very short crystal lengths L and by heat transfer for geometries L> 1 mm. Including possible destabilizing effects due to constitutional supercooling an augmentation of V without deteriorating crystal quality should be conducted by stochiometry control for supression of graphitization and control of the thermal field tailoring the axial heat transfer with process time. Finally SiC growth from the liquid phase is introduced to promise a growth technique for specific SiC material as, in contrast to PVT growth, the closing of micropipes is demonstrated to be feasible.
Social epistemology is a burgeoning branch of contemporary epistemology. Since the 1970s, philosophers have taken an ever-increasing interest in such topics as the epistemic value of testimony, the nature and function of expertise, the proper distribution of cognitive labor and resources among individuals in communities, and the status of group reasoning and knowledge. This trend emerged against the resistance of the widely shared view that social considerations are largely irrelevant to epistemological concerns. The trend was stimulated by diverse approaches to the study of knowledge, in such fields as library science, educational theory, the sociology of science, and economics, and within philosophy itself, in the decades preceding the 1980s. To name only a few influences within philosophy, W. V. Quine promoted a naturalistic approach to knowledge, and many who accepted the relevance of nature to epistemology found it sensible to accept the relevance of social factors as well. Thomas S. Kuhn suggested that social factors precipitate revolutionary conceptual and doctrinal changes in the history of science. And feminist epistemologists uncovered the importance of gender differences in knowledge – a species of social factor.
We present a study of the radial velocity offsets between AGN-related narrow emission lines and host-galaxy emission and absorption lines in Seyfert galaxies with observed redshifts less than 0.043. We find that 35% of the Seyferts in the sample show [O iii] emission lines with blueshifts with respect to their host galaxies exceeding 50 km s−1, whereas only 6% show redshifts this large, in qualitative agreement with most previous studies. We also find that a greater percentage of Seyfert 1 galaxies show blueshifts than Seyfert 2 galaxies. Using HST/STIS spatially-resolved spectra of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 and the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4151, we generate geometric models of their narrow-line regions (NLRs) and inner galactic disks and show how these models can explain the blueshifted [O iii] emission lines in collapsed STIS spectra of these two Seyferts. We conclude that the combination of mass outflow of ionized gas in the NLR and extinction by dust in the inner disk (primarily in the form of dust spirals) is primarily responsible for the velocity offsets in Seyfert galaxies.