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LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle) is a generic, mechanistic model designed to quantify potential and feed-limited growth, which provides insight in the biophysical scope to increase beef production (i.e. yield gap). Furthermore, it enables identification of the bio-physical factors that define and limit growth, which provides insight in management strategies to mitigate yield gaps. The aim of this paper, third in a series of three, is to evaluate the performance of LiGAPS-Beef with independent experimental data. After model calibration, independent data were used from six experiments in Australia, one in Uruguay and one in the Netherlands. Experiments represented three cattle breeds, and a wide range of climates, feeding strategies and cattle growth rates. The mean difference between simulated and measured average daily gains (ADGs) was 137 g/day across all experiments, which equals 20.1% of the measured ADGs. The root mean square error was 170 g/day, which equals 25.0% of the measured ADGs. LiGAPS-Beef successfully simulated the factors that defined and limited growth during the experiments on a daily basis (genotype, heat stress, digestion capacity, energy deficiency and protein deficiency). The simulated factors complied well to the reported occurrence of heat stress, energy deficiency and protein deficiency at specific periods during the experiments. We conclude that the level of accuracy of LiGAPS-Beef is acceptable, and provides a good basis for acquiring insight in the potential and feed-limited production of cattle in different beef production systems across the world. Furthermore, its capacity to identify factors that define or limit growth and production provides scope to use the model for yield gap analysis.
The expected increase in the global demand for livestock products calls for insight in the scope to increase actual production levels across the world. This insight can be obtained by using theoretical concepts of production ecology. These concepts distinguish three production levels for livestock: potential (i.e. theoretical maximum) production, which is defined by genotype and climate only; feed-limited production, which is limited by feed quantity and quality; and actual production. The difference between the potential or limited production and the actual production is the yield gap. The objective of this paper, the first in a series of three, is to present a mechanistic, dynamic model simulating potential and feed-limited production for beef cattle, which can be used to assess yield gaps. A novelty of this model, named LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle), is the identification of the defining factors (genotype and climate) and limiting factors (feed quality and available feed quantity) for cattle growth by integrating sub-models on thermoregulation, feed intake and digestion, and energy and protein utilisation. Growth of beef cattle is simulated at the animal and herd level. The model is designed to be applicable to different beef production systems across the world. Main model inputs are breed-specific parameters, daily weather data, information about housing, and data on feed quality and quantity. Main model outputs are live weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency (FE) at the animal and herd level. Here, the model is presented, and its use is illustrated for Charolais and Brahman × Shorthorn cattle in France and Australia. Potential and feed-limited production were assessed successfully, and we show that FE of herds is highest for breeds most adapted to the local climate conditions. LiGAPS-Beef also identified the factors that define and limit growth and production of cattle. Hence, we argue the model has scope to be used as a tool for the assessment and analysis of yield gaps in beef production systems.
The model LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle) has been developed to assess potential and feed-limited growth and production of beef cattle in different areas of the world and to identify the processes responsible for the yield gap. Sensitivity analysis and evaluation of model results with experimental data are important steps after model development. The first aim of this paper, therefore, is to identify which parameters affect the output of LiGAPS-Beef most by conducting sensitivity analyses. The second aim is to evaluate the accuracy of the thermoregulation sub-model and the feed intake and digestion sub-model with experimental data. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using a one-at-a-time approach. The upper critical temperature (UCT) simulated with the thermoregulation sub-model was most affected by the body core temperature and parameters affecting latent heat release from the skin. The lower critical temperature (LCT) and UCT were considerably affected by weather variables, especially ambient temperature and wind speed. Sensitivity analysis for the feed intake and digestion sub-model showed that the digested protein per kg feed intake was affected to a larger extent than the metabolisable energy (ME) content. Sensitivity analysis for LiGAPS-Beef was conducted for ¾ Brahman×¼ Shorthorn cattle in Australia and Hereford cattle in Uruguay. Body core temperature, conversion of digestible energy to ME, net energy requirements for maintenance, and several parameters associated with heat release affected feed efficiency at the herd level most. Sensitivity analyses have contributed, therefore, to insight which parameters are to be investigated in more detail when applying LiGAPS-Beef. Model evaluation was conducted by comparing model simulations with independent data from experiments. Measured heat production in experiments corresponded fairly well to the heat production simulated with the thermoregulation sub-model. Measured ME contents from two data sets corresponded well to the ME contents simulated with the feed intake and digestion sub-model. The relative mean absolute errors were 9.3% and 6.4% of the measured ME contents for the two data sets. In conclusion, model evaluation indicates the thermoregulation sub-model can deal with a wide range of weather conditions, and the feed intake and digestion sub-model with a variety of feeds, which corresponds to the aim of LiGAPS-Beef to simulate cattle in different beef production systems across the world.
As new work on the proper motions (PMs) of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has come out, our view of the history of the Magellanic Clouds has evolved. We now believe they are on their first infall into the Milky Way (MW), having been tidally bound at the start of infall (though not necessarily now). Combining these observations with initial PMs of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) suggests a new formation mechanism of the Magellanic Stream through the stripping of material from the SMC. However, large uncertainties remain in the exact mass of the LMC. We present a measurement of the systemic proper motions of the SMC from astrometry with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), covering a ~3 year baseline of 30 fields with background QSOs. We find these motions to be μW = −0.82 ± 0.06 mas/yr and μN = −1.23 ± 0.07 mas/yr. Combining these measurements with previous efforts in studying the Clouds will help constrain their interactions with each other and the MW, including the mass of the LMC and the MW, as well as provide new insight into the internal dynamics of the SMC.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a programme of lesion surgery carried out on patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
This was a retrospective study looking at clinical and psychometric data from 45 patients with TRD who had undergone bilateral stereotactic anterior capsulotomy surgery over a period of 15 years, with the approval of the Mental Health Act Commission (37 with unipolar depression and eight with bipolar disorder). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) before and after surgery was used as the primary outcome measure. The Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale was administered and cognitive aspects of executive and memory functions were also examined. We carried out a paired-samples t test on the outcome measures to determine any statistically significant change in the group as a consequence of surgery.
Patients improved on the clinical measure of depression after surgery by −21.20 points on the BDI with a 52% change. There were no significant cognitive changes post-surgery. Six patients were followed up in 2013 by phone interview and reported a generally positive experience. No major surgical complications occurred.
With the limitations of an uncontrolled, observational study, our data suggest that capsulotomy can be an effective treatment for otherwise TRD. Performance on neuropsychological tests did not deteriorate.
This paper presents measurements of mixing efficiency of the two counter-flowing gravity currents created by symmetric lock exchange in a channel. The novel feature of this work is that the buoyancy Reynolds number of the currents is higher than in previous experiments, so that the mixing is not significantly affected by viscosity. We find that the mixing efficiency asymptotes to 0.08 at high Reynolds numbers. We present a model of the mixing based on the evolution of idealized mean profiles of velocity and density at the interface between the two currents, the results of which are in good agreement with the measurements of mixing efficiency.
K. H. Petersen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway,
H. Lindén, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway,
A. M. Dale, University of California San Diego, USA,
G. T. Einevoll, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway,
T. Stieglitz, Albert-Ludwig-University of Freiburg, Germany
In the nineteenth century, Julius Bernstein invented an ingenious device called the “differential rheotome,” a rotating wheel which could record the time course of action potentials (see Chapter 3). Since then, many sophisticated techniques have been introduced to measure correlates of neural activity: measurements of electricity produced by single neurons (Chapters 3 and 4) or multiple neurons (Chapters 5–7 and 9), measurements based on brain metabolism (Chapters 8 and 11) or on calcium dynamics (Chapter 10). These techniques are always more or less indirect measurements of neural activity, and they have diverse spatial and temporal resolutions, and spatial scales. Each chapter in this book has described the quantitative relationship between neural activity (e.g. membrane potential or synaptic activity) and the measured quantity, as it is currently understood. This effort serves two purposes: to give a better understanding and interpretation of the measurements, and to help enhance existing techniques or develop new ones. To conclude this book, the authors of all the chapters describe ongoing developments in their field, open questions to be addressed, and new emerging techniques.
Substrate-integrated microelectrode arrays (MEAs) are planar arrays of microelectrodes used to record electrical activity in neuronal cell cultures or acute brain slices (Taketani and Baudray, 2006; Egert et al., 2010; Gross, 2010). While their history goes back to the 1970s, the rapid development of photolithographic techniques (stimulated by the needs of the computer industry) has now made prefabricated high-density MEA chips a popular research tool.
Very high surface area nanostructured metal electrodes are of interest as efficient current collectors. For thin film devices, the nanostructured metal can be grown in place using electrodeposition or electroless deposition. For larger devices metal electrodes structured at more than one length scale are desirable. Self-assembling surfactant templates are a versatile method of generating a range of nanostructures. As we report here, electrodeposition of nickel, cobalt and copper from liquid crystalline solutions of Triton X-100 produces a number of nanostructures, with significant surface area increases. Electrodeposition into templates with microstructure has proven more demanding. Oil-in-water Microemulsions of Tween surfactants and soy oil, produce micrometer scale structures, however measured nickel surface area does not scale with sample thickness. The method is also not robust, and was found to give microstructures only for nickel and cobalt. Experiments show that under our conditions a combination of nickel metal, nickel acetate and nickel/detergent microstructures are formed.
The dynamics of a photogenerated electron-hole plasma in pure amorphous silicon (a-Si) in different stages of structural relaxation have been studied with sub-picosecond resolution using pump-probe reflectivity measurements. For high plasma densities (> 1020/cm3) the plasma evolution is dominated by Auger recombination. At lower plasma densities (≈ 1018/cm3) the plasma decays exponentially with a time constant τ, suggesting that carrier trapping dominates in this regime. The decay time τ increases with the temperature at which the a-Si has been annealed, ranging from τ = 1 ps for as-implanted a-Si to τ=14 ps for a-Si annealed at 500 °C. This observation is consistent with a reduction in the number of defects in a-Si upon thermal annealing.
Information about the spatial collection efficiency in a-Si:H solar cells is obtained from the Dynamic Inner Collection Efficiency (DICE) technique. With this non-destructive method single junction solar cells with efficiencies up to 10 % have been analysed under operating conditions. The influence of i-layer deposition parameters, such as the temperature and deposition time, on the spatial collection efficiency have been investigated. Deposition parameters for the i-layer have a large influence on the collection from the first 100 nm from the p+/i-interface. A higher i-layer deposition temperature or a longer deposition time results in a higher internal collection efficiency at a depth of 70 nm into the i-layer. Also results of DICE experiments on various textured TCO substrates are presented.
Voltammetric studies of Au55(PPh3)12Cl6 (kindly provided by Prof. G. Schmid, Essen, Germany) in solutions of CH2Cl2 and THF with Pt electrodes show that the reduction of the cluster is a multistep, irreversible process. Precipitation of colloidal metal or any high molecular super-cluster is observed when stabilising. NBu+ –ions are absent and when the reduced solution is reoxidised.
The parent cluster and the precipitate were studied by X-ray powder diffraction and UV-vis spectroscopy. The origin of the diffuse lines and the low-angle diffractions will be discussed. They suggest that the Au55 particles flocculate by changing their electric charge in the electrochemical redox reactions. The floc is unstable and congulates to particles of 25 Å and larger.
Genetic variation in Lactuca serriola, the closest wild relative of cultivated lettuce, was studied across Europe from the Czech Republic to the United Kingdom, using three molecular marker systems, simple sequence repeat (SSR, microsatellites), AFLP and nucleotide-binding site (NBS) profiling. The ‘functional’ marker system NBS profiling, targeting disease resistance genes of the NBS/LRR family, did not show marked differences in genetic diversity parameters to the other systems. The autogamy of the species resulted in low observed heterozygosity and high population differentiation. Intra-population variation ranged from complete homogeneity to nearly complete heterogeneity. The highest genetic diversity was found in central Europe. The SSR results were compared to SSR variation screened earlier in the lettuce collection of the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN). In the UK, practically only a single SSR genotype was found. This genotype together with a few other common SSR genotypes comprised a large part of the plants sampled on the continent. Among the ten most frequent SSR genotypes observed, eight were already present in the CGN collection. Overall, the CGN collection appears to already have a fair representation of genetic variation from NW Europe. The results are discussed in relation to sampling strategies for improving genebank collections of crop wild relatives.
Neural-tube defects (NTD) are common congenital malformations that can lead to severe disability or even death. Periconceptional supplementation with the B-vitamin folic acid has been demonstrated to prevent 50–70% of NTD cases. Since the identification of the first genetic risk factor of NTD, the C677T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, and the observation that elevated plasma homocysteine levels are associated with NTD, research has focused on genetic variation in genes encoding for enzymes of folate metabolism and the closely-related homocysteine metabolism. In the present review relevant SNP in genes that code for enzymes involved in folate transport and uptake, the folate cycles and homocysteine metabolism are summarised and the importance of these SNP discussed in relation to NTD risk.
Background and objective: To determine the minimal oxygen delivery and pump flow that can maintain systemic oxygen uptake during normothermic (37°C) pulsatile and non-pulsatile cardiopulmonary bypass in dogs. Methods: Eighteen anaesthetized dogs were randomly assigned to receive either non-pulsatile (Group C; n = 9) or pulsatile bypass flow (Group P; n = 9). Oxygen delivery was reduced by a progressive decrease in pump flow, while arterial oxygen content was maintained constant. In each animal, critical oxygen delivery was determined from plots of oxygen uptake vs. oxygen delivery and from plots of blood lactate vs. oxygen delivery using a least sum of squares technique. Critical pump flow was determined from plots of lactate vs. pump flow. Results: At the critical point, oxygen delivery obtained from oxygen uptake was 7.7 ± 1.1 mL min−1 kg−1 in Group C and 6.8 ± 1.8 mL min−1 kg−1 in Group P (n.s.). These values were similar to those obtained from lactate measurements (Group C: 7.8 ± 1.6 mL min−1 kg−1; Group P: 7.6 ± 2.0 mL min−1 kg−1). Critical pump flows determined from lactate measurements were 55.6 ± 13.8 mL min−1 kg−1 in Group C and 60.8 ± 13.9 mL min−1 kg−1 in Group P (n.s.). Conclusions: Oxygen delivery values greater than 7–8 mL min−1 kg−1 were required to maintain oxygen uptake during normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass with either pulsatile or non-pulsatile blood flow. Elevation of blood lactate levels during bypass helps to identify inadequate tissue oxygen delivery related to insufficient pump flow.