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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.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
To evaluate how rearing programmes could affect resources allocation and reproductive performance of primiparous rabbit females, a total of 118 rabbit females were used to evaluate the effects of five rearing feeding programmes on their performance from 1st to 2nd parturition: CAL, fed ad libitum C diet (11.0 MJ digestible energy (DE), 114 g digestible protein (DP) and 358 g NDF/kg dry matter (DM) until 1st parturition; CR, fed ad libitum with C diet until 12 weeks of age and then C diet restricted (140 g/day) until 1st parturition; F, fed ad libitum with F diet (8.7 MJ DE, 88 g DP and 476 NDF/kg DM) until 1st parturition; FC, fed with F diet ad libitum until 16 weeks of age, and C diet ad libitum until 1st parturition; FCF, fed with F diet ad libitum until 16 weeks of age, then C diet ad libitum until 20 weeks and then F diet ad libitum until 1st parturition. From 1st parturition, C diet was ad libitum offered to all the experimental groups until 2nd parturition. CAL females presented lower feed intake than females of F, FC and FCF groups in the 1st week of lactation (on av. −16.6%; P<0.05). During 1st lactation, the perirenal fat thickness change in CAL females was not different from 0 (+0.02 mm), while in the other four groups it increased (on av. +0.44 mm; P<0.05). Plasma of females fed with F diet during rearing (F, FC and FCF) had lower non-esterified fatty acids content than those exclusively fed with C diet (–0.088 and –0.072 mmol/l compared to CAL and CR, respectively; P<0.05). FCF litters had higher weight than F litters at day 21 of lactation (+247 g; P<0.05), but FCF litter had significantly lower weight than FC litters at weaning (+170 g; P<0.05). CR females had the shortest average interval between the 1st and 2nd parturition (49 days) and FCF females the longest (+ 9 days compared to CR; P<0.05). At 2nd parturition, liveborn litters of F females were larger and heavier than litters of FCF females (+2.22 kits and +138 g; P<0.05), probably due to the lower mortality at birth of F litters (–16.5 percentage points; P<0.05). In conclusion, rearing females on fibrous diets seems to increase the ability of primiparous rabbit females to obtain resources, especially at the onset of lactation.
We have developed a technique for determining the atomic elastic constants from measurements of the Debye-Waller factors. The Debye-Waller factors are obtained by Rietveld refinement of time-of-flight neutron diffraction data and interpreted in terms of an atomic Debye-Waller temperature. The method is applicable to powders and to materials that must be encapsulated for safety or environmental reasons. We will illustrate our technique with applications to actinide metals, to metallic hydrides and to high-temperature superconductors.
Pathological worry is a hallmark feature of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), associated with dysfunctional emotional processing. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involved in the regulation of such processes, but the link between vmPFC emotional responses and pathological v. adaptive worry has not yet been examined.
To study the association between worry and vmPFC activity evoked by the processing of learned safety and threat signals.
In total, 27 unmedicated patients with GAD and 56 healthy controls (HC) underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Compared to HC, the GAD group demonstrated reduced vmPFC activation to safety signals and no safety–threat processing differentiation. This response was positively correlated with worry severity in GAD, whereas the same variables showed a negative and weak correlation in HC.
Poor vmPFC safety–threat differentiation might characterise GAD, and its distinctive association with GAD worries suggests a neural-based qualitative difference between healthy and pathological worries.
In this study, we report the characterization of a 304L stainless steel cylindrical projectile produced by additive manufacturing. The projectile was compressively deformed using a Taylor Anvil Gas Gun, leading to a huge strain gradient along the axis of the deformed cylinder. Spatially resolved neutron diffraction measurements on the HIgh Pressure Preferred Orientation time-of-flight diffractometer (HIPPO) and Spectrometer for Materials Research at Temperature and Stress diffractometer (SMARTS) beamlines at the Los Alamos Neutron Science CEnter (LANSCE) with Rietveld and single-peak analysis were used to quantitatively evaluate the volume fractions of the α, γ, and ε phases as well as residual strain and texture. The texture of the γ phase is consistent with uniaxial compression, while the α texture can be explained by the Kurdjumov–Sachs relationship from the γ texture after deformation. This indicates that the material first deformed in the γ phase and subsequently transformed at larger strains. The ε phase was only found in volumes close to the undeformed material with a texture connected to the γ texture by the Shoji–Nishiyama orientation relationship. This allows us to conclude that the ε phase occurs as an intermediate phase at lower strain, and is superseded by the α phase when strain increases further. We found a proportionality between the root-mean-squared microstrain of the γ phase, dominated by the dislocation density, with the α volume fraction, consistent with strain-induced martensite α formation. Knowledge of the sample volume with the ε phase from the neutron diffraction analysis allowed us to identify the ε phase by electron back scatter diffraction analysis, complementing the neutron diffraction analysis with characterization on the grain level.
The sand-dune lizard Liolaemus multimaculatus is an Endangered species endemic to the Pampean coastal dunes of Argentina. To inform the development of a future Action Plan for this species, we investigated the demography and conservation status of all remaining populations, and we suggest management actions appropriate to local needs. We used population viability analysis to assess extinction risk in three inbreeding scenarios and estimate the minimum viable population and the minimum area requirement. To assess the current status of each local population, we used information related to population size, human pressure and connectivity. The results were then used to set and prioritize conservation management actions at local level. Our models indicated that populations of > 2,400 individuals would be viable in the long term and that inbreeding depression has a strong effect on extinction risk. The southern patches of coastal dune contain the largest populations of sand-dune lizards, and they are also better connected and less threatened. We suggest land protection as the priority management action for populations larger than the minimum viable population, whereas habitat recovery, when possible, should be the priority for patches of coastal dune smaller than the minimum area requirement. Supplementation with a small number of individuals could stabilize unviable populations but should be considered only in certain situations.
The long-term conservation of the sand-dune lizard will be feasible only if a conservation action plan is developed and implemented.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (26·7%), pigs (17·5%) or poultry (16·0%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (43·8%) and case detection (26·8%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (57·1%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (37·3%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
Measured highly elevated gains of proton–boron (HB11) fusion (Picciotto et al., Phys. Rev. X 4, 031030 (2014)) confirmed the exceptional avalanche reaction process (Lalousis et al., Laser Part. Beams 32, 409 (2014); Hora et al., Laser Part. Beams 33, 607 (2015)) for the combination of the non-thermal block ignition using ultrahigh intensity laser pulses of picoseconds duration. The ultrahigh acceleration above
for plasma blocks was theoretically and numerically predicted since 1978 (Hora, Physics of Laser Driven Plasmas (Wiley, 1981), pp. 178 and 179) and measured (Sauerbrey, Phys. Plasmas 3, 4712 (1996)) in exact agreement (Hora et al., Phys. Plasmas 14, 072701 (2007)) when the dominating force was overcoming thermal processes. This is based on Maxwell’s stress tensor by the dielectric properties of plasma leading to the nonlinear (ponderomotive) force
resulting in ultra-fast expanding plasma blocks by a dielectric explosion. Combining this with measured ultrahigh magnetic fields and the avalanche process opens an option for an environmentally absolute clean and economic boron fusion power reactor. This is supported also by other experiments with very high HB11 reactions under different conditions (Labaune et al., Nature Commun. 4, 2506 (2013)).
Highly accreting quasars are possible cosmological probes, as their Eddington ratio is expected to saturate toward values of order unity. We present preliminary estimates of redshift- independent source luminosities and the Hubble diagram for quasars in the redshift range 0.1 ≲ z ≲ 2.6.