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Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.) is an important crop for rainfed production systems and can play a significant role as a feed source for ruminants owing to its high yield and drought tolerance. It is well-established that the maturity stage can influence the chemical composition as well as the nutritional value of crops traditionally used for silage production, although quantitative evidence that this occurs with pearl millet under rainfed conditions is lacking. The current research assessed the agronomic characteristics, ensilability, intake and digestibility of a Brazilian pearl millet cultivar (IPA BULK1-BF) harvested at four different growth stages. Forage was harvested at 35, 50, 65 and 80 days after sowing and ensiled under laboratory and farm conditions. Apparent digestibility of the silages was determined using 24 male lambs. The results showed that dry matter (DM) and panicle and stem proportions increased with the advancement maturity. The silage evaluations showed that DM, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates and lignin concentrations increased, while crude protein, ADF and in vitro DM digestibility decreased with the increase in plant maturity. Additionally, the fermentation characteristics were improved with the increasing maturity. The digestion study showed that intake of DM and N as well as digestibility of DM and fibre fractions decreased, while lignin intake increased. The results obtained for the production of dry and digestible DM, the ratio of plant fractions and fermentation parameters indicate the possibility of harvesting pearl millet forage after 50 days after sowing for silage production in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
First-order expressive capabilities allow Bayesian networks (BNs) to model problem domains where the number of entities, their attributes, and their relationships can vary significantly between model instantiations. First-order BNs are well-suited for capturing knowledge representation dependencies, but literature on design patterns specific to first-order BNs is few and scattered. To identify useful patterns, we investigated the range of dependency models between combinations of random variables (RVs) that represent unary attributes, functional relationships, and binary predicate relationships. We found eight major patterns, grouped into three categories, that cover a significant number of first-order BN situations. Selection behavior occurs in six patterns, where a relationship/attribute identifies which entities in a second relationship/attribute are applicable. In other cases, certain kinds of embedded dependencies based on semantic meaning are exploited. A significant contribution of our patterns is that they describe various behaviors used to establish the RV’s local probability distribution. Taken together, the patterns form a modeling framework that provides significant insight into first-order expressive BNs and can reduce efforts in developing such models. To the best of our knowledge, there are no comprehensive published accounts of such patterns.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Introduction: Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of non-emergency community paramedicine (CP) home visit programs. In the absence of a recognized standard for CP assessment, current assessment practices in CP programs are unknown. Without knowing what community paramedics are assessing, it is difficult to ascertain what should be included in patient care plans, whether interventions are beneficial, or whether paramedics are meeting program objectives. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments used in CP programs in order to describe the state of current practice. Methods: We performed an environmental scan of all CP programs in Ontario, Canada, and employed content analysis to describe current assessment practices in CP home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy. Findings were compared at the domain and sub-domain of the ICF. Results: Of 54 paramedic services in Ontario, 43 responded to our request for information. Of 24 services with CP home visit programs, 18 provided their intake assessment forms for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Overall, most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF, including: Impairments of Body Functions, Impairments of Body Structures, Activity Limitation and Participation, and Environmental Factors. At the sub-domain level, only assessment of Impairments of the Functions of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory systems appeared in all assessments. Few CP home visit program assessments covered most ICF sub-domain categories and many items classified to specific categories were included in only a few assessments. Conclusion: CP home visit programs complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. The content of CP assessments varied across Ontario, which suggests that care planning and resources may not be consistent. Current work on practice guidelines and paramedic training can build from descriptions of assessment practices to improve quality of care and patient safety. By identifying what community paramedics assess, evaluation of the quality of CP home visit programs and their ability to meet program objectives can be improved and benchmarks in patient care can be established.
To compare the accuracy of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in tracking mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
A Systematic review of the PubMed, Bireme, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo databases was conducted. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria and staring with 1,629 articles, 34 articles were selected. The quality of the selected research was evaluated through the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool (QUADAS-2).
More than 80% of the articles showed MoCA to be superior to MMSE in discriminating between individuals with mild cognitive impairment and no cognitive impairment. The area under the curve varied from 0.71 to 0.99 for MoCA, and 0.43 to 0.94 for MMSE, when evaluating the ability to discriminate MCI in the cognitively healthy elderly individuals, and 0.87 to 0.99 and 0.67 to 0.99, respectively, when evaluating the detection of AD. The AUC mean value for MoCA was significantly larger compared to the MMSE in discriminating MCI from control [0.883 (CI 95% 0.855-0.912) vs MMSE 0.780 (CI 95% 0.740-0.820) p < 0.001].
The screening tool MoCA is superior to MMSE in the identification of MCI, and both tests were found to be accurate in the detection of AD.
We study the mixing in low-intermediate massive stars using eclipsing binaries. We compute stellar evolutionary models with a varying convective core overshooting parameter and different rotation rates. Using a Bayesian estimation method, we found that the coexistence of the two phenomena may be a reasonable explanation of the observed extra-mixing.
Beneficial effects of probiotics have been reported on body weight, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, inflammatory state and oxidative stress in healthy subjects and in many metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 on inflammatory state and nitro-oxidative stress in patients with and without the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The usual diets of the thirty-three subjects were supplemented with probiotic milk for 90 d. Inflammatory markers and oxidative measurements were performed. In relation to the baseline values, subjects in both groups showed a decrease in homocysteine (P=0·02 and P=0·03, respectively), hydroperoxides (P=0·02 and P=0·01, respectively) and IL-6 levels (P=0·02). Increases in adiponectin (P=0·04) and nitric oxide metabolites (NOx, P=0·001) levels were only seen in the group with the MetS in relation to the baseline values, whereas only the individuals without the MetS had increases in total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter levels (P=0·002). In conclusion, B. lactis HN019 have several beneficial effects on inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers in healthy subjects and the MetS patients. Patients with the MetS showed a specific improvement in adiponectin and NOx levels, whereas a specific favourable effect was shown in the antioxidant defenses in healthy subjects. If the results obtained in the present study are confirmed, supplementation of fermented milk with probiotics in healthy subjects and patients with the MetS must be further discussed.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
This study evaluated the effects of diet containing taro flour on hormone levels and the seminiferous tubules morphology of rats. After weaning, the male rats were divided into two groups (n=12 each): control group (CG) treated with control diet and taro group (TG), fed with 25% taro flour for 90 days. Food, caloric intake, mass and body length were evaluated at experiment end. Testis followed the standard histological processing. Immunostaining was performed using an anti-vimentin antibody to identify Sertoli cells. In histomorphometry, total diameter, total area, epithelial height, luminal height and luminal area were analyzed. The testosterone levels were performed using the radioimmunoassay method. Group TG presented (P<0.05): increase in mass, body length, testicular weight, histomorphometric parameters and hormonal levels. Food intake, calorie and Sertoli cells not presented statistical differences. The taro promoted increase in the testicles parameters and hormones.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
The objective of this study was to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with birth weight, weight gain from birth to weaning and from weaning to yearling, yearling height and cow weight in Nelore cattle. Data from 5064 animals participating in the DeltaGen and PAINT breeding programs were used. The animals were genotyped with a panel of 777 962 SNPs (Illumina BovineHD BeadChip) and 412 993 SNPs remained after quality control analysis of the genomic data. A genome-wide association study was performed using a single-step methodology. The analyses were processed with the BLUPF90 family of programs. When applied to a genome-wide association studies, the single-step GBLUP methodology is an iterative process that estimates weights for the SNPs. The weights of SNPs were included in all analyses by iteratively applying the single-step GBLUP methodology and repeated twice so that the effect of the SNP and the effect of the animal were recalculated in order to increase the weight of SNPs with large effects and to reduce the weight of those with small effects. The genome-wide association results are reported based on the proportion of variance explained by windows of 50 adjacent SNPs. Considering the two iterations, only windows with an additive genetic variance >1.5% were presented in the results. Associations were observed with birth weight on BTA 14, with weight gain from birth to weaning on BTA 5 and 29, with weight gain from weaning to yearling on BTA 11, and with yearling height on BTA 8, showing the genes TMEM68 (transmembrane protein 8B) associated with birth weight and yearling height, XKR4 (XK, Kell blood group complex subunit-related family, member 4) associated with birth weight, NPR2 (natriuretic peptide receptor B) associated with yearling height, and REG3G (regenerating islet-derived 3-gamma) associated with weight gain from weaning to yearling. These genes play an important role in feed intake, weight gain and the regulation of skeletal growth.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
The alloy composed of zirconium has been used effectively for over 50 years in claddings of nuclear fuel, especially for PWR type reactors. However, to increase fuel enrichment with the aim of rising the burning and maintaining the safety of nuclear plants, is of great relevance the study of new materials that can replace safely and efficiently zircaloy cladding. Among several proposed material, silicon carbide (SiC) has a potential to replace zircaloy as fuel cladding material due to its high-temperature tolerance, chemical stability and a low absorption cross-section for thermal neutrons. In this paper, the goal is to expand the study with silicon carbide cladding, checking its behavior when submitted to an environment with burnable poison variations, the impact on multiplication factor and reactivity coefficients to both claddings: zircaloy and silicon carbide. The neutronic analysis was made using the SCALE 6.0 (Standardized Computer Analysis for Licensing Evaluation) code. This code system is widely accepted and used worldwide for safety analysis, and criticality of nuclear reactors has been utilized to model a typical fuel element of a PWR.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
The aim of this study was analyzed if the flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body composition in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, part of the pups was evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control (C60) was fed with control diet. EW was divided in control (EWC60); flaxseed flour (EWFF60); flaxseed oil (EWFO60) diets until 60 days. Body mass, length and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were determined. EW21 (v. C21) and EWC60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) mass, length and body composition. EWFO60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) body mass and length, body and trunk lean mass, bone mineral density and content and bone area. Flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to recovery of body composition after early weaning.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis has greater sensitivity and specificity than culture and visualization of the parasite. This study compares PCR for the diagnosis of the genus and species of Leishmania with serological techniques used for the control of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) in Brazil, considering two regions. We analysed peripheral blood samples collected from 195 dogs in the Campinas (SP) and Teresina (PI) regions. ELISA was performed as a serological method and PCR was performed using specific primers for the genus Leishmania spp. and the species Leishmania chagasi. In Campinas, a greater sensitivity of PCR (88·24%) (P = 0·0455) compared to Teresina (14·71%) (P < 0·0001) was observed, and an agreement was observed for Cohen's kappa index (0·9096). Both PCR and ELISA showed discordance for sensitivity (Campinas 100%, Teresina 21·74%), specificity (Campinas 30·77%, Teresina 100%), positive predictive value (Campinas 68·97%, Teresina 100%), negative predictive value (Campinas 100%, Teresina 37·94%) and Cohen's kappa index (0·1238). This study confirms the importance of PCR in analysis of the canine reservoir, and as an effective method for the detection of active and recent infection.