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Mastitis is one of the most prevalent and costly diseases in dairy cattle. Key components for adequate mastitis control are the detection of early stages of infection, as well as the selection of appropriate management interventions and therapies based on the causal pathogens associated with the infection. The objective was to characterize the pattern of electrical conductivity (EC) in milk during intramammary infection, considering specific mastitis-causing pathogen groups involvement. Cows (n = 200) identified by an in-line mastitis detection system with a positive deviation ≥15% in the manufacturer’s proprietary algorithm for EC (high electrical conductivity (HEC)) were considered cases and enrolled in the study at the subsequent milking. One control (CON) cow, within normal ranges for EC, was matched to each case. A composite milk sample was collected aseptically from each cow for bacteriological culture. Milk yield (MY) and EC were recorded for each milking during ±7 days relative to enrollment. Milk cultures were categorized into gram positive (GP), gram negative (GN), other (OTH) and no growth (NOG). Data were submitted for repeated-measures analysis with EC as the dependent variable and EC status at day −1, bacteriological culture category, parity number, stage of lactation and days relative to sampling as main independent variables. Average (± standard error (SE)) EC was greater in HEC than in CON cows (12.5 ± 0.5 v. 10.8 ± 0.5 mS/cm) on the day of identification (day −1). Milk yield on day −1 was greater in CON than in HEC (37.6 ± 5.1 v. 33.5 ± 5.2 kg). For practical management purposes, average EC on day −1 was similar for the different bacteriological culture categories: 11.4 ± 0.6, 11.7 ± 0.5, 12.3 ± 0.8 and 11.7 ± 0.5 mS/cm in GN, GP, OTH and NOG, respectively. Parity number was only associated with day −1 EC in HEC group, with the greatest EC values in parity 3 (12.3 ± 0.3 mS/cm), followed by parity 2 (11.9 ± 0.2 mS/cm), parity >3 (11.6 ± 0.5 mS/cm) and primiparous cows (11.2 ± 0.2 mS/cm). An effect on EC for the interaction of day relative to identification by pathogen gram category was observed. The same interaction effect was observed on daily MY. Overall, the level of variation for MY and EC between- and within-cows was substantial, and as indicated by the model diagnostic procedures, the magnitude of the variance in the cows in the CON group resulted in deviations from normality in the residuals. We concluded that characteristic temporal patterns in EC and MY in particular pathogen groups may provide indications for differentiation of groups of mastitis-causing pathogens. Further research to build detection models including EC, MY and cow-level factors is required for accurate differentiation.
In this paper, a robust geometric navigation algorithm, designed on the special Euclidean group SE(3), of a quadrotor is proposed. The equations of motion for the quadrotor are obtained using the Newton–Euler formulation. The geometric navigation considers a guidance frame which is designed to perform autonomous flights with a convergence to the contour of the task with small normal velocity. For this purpose, a super twisting algorithm controls the nonlinear rotational and translational dynamics as a cascade structure in order to establish the fast and yet smooth tracking with the typical robustness of sliding modes. In this sense, the controller provides robustness against parameter uncertainty, disturbances, convergence to the sliding manifold in finite time, and asymptotic convergence of the trajectory tracking. The algorithm validation is presented through experimental results showing the feasibility of the proposed approach and illustrating that the tracking errors converge asymptotically to the origin.
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.
In this work we apply high-resolution X-ray diffractometry to the study of InGaAs/GaAs multiple quantum well structures on (001) and(lll)B GaAs substrates. The samples consisted of p-i-n diodes with a multiple quantum well embedded in the i-region and were simultaneously grown on (001) and (111)B substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. For the characterization we have used symmetric and asymmetric reflections at different azimuthal positions. The interpretation of the diffraction profiles has been possible thanks to our recently developed simulation model, which allows the calculation of any reflection regardless of the substrate orientation. X-ray results about composition and thickness are very similar in the samples simultaneously grown on both orientations as expected from our specific growth conditions. The information obtained from X-ray characterization is consistent with the results of photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements within the experimental uncertainty of the techniques. In (lll)B samples, X-ray diffractometry provides structural information which cannot be easily obtained from optical characterization techniques.
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.
In this study, we analysed and compared the whole parasite community from the fish Notothenia rossii and Notothenia coriiceps collected from Fildes Bay at King George Island, Antarctica, during January–February 2017 in a field campaign supported by the Chilean Antarctic Institute. The fish samples collected were 45 specimens of N. rossii and 22 of N. coriiceps, with total lengths averaging 29.7 ± 5.3 cm and 32.5 ± 3.2 cm, respectively. Fish were dissected to collect their internal and external parasites. All the fish were parasitized; 13 taxa were found in N. rossii and 12 taxa in N. coriiceps. Acanthocephalans, mainly Metacanthocephalus johnstoni and Aspersentis megarhynchus, were the most abundant and prevalent parasites in both fish species. The abundance and richness of the parasite infracommunity increased with the host body length only in N. rossii. Twelve parasitic taxa were shared by both notothen species. Abundance and prevalence of parasitic taxa, as well as the average richness and abundance of the parasite infracommunities were mostly similar between the two fish species. Parasite compositions of N. coriiceps reported in published studies from King George Island were relatively comparable to our sample. We concluded that the two congeneric and sympatric fish species had highly similar parasite communities, which indicates that they use resources in a similar way, thus allowing them to become parasitized with the same parasitic species and in the same abundances. All parasites recorded in this study have been found in several other fish species; therefore, parasites from notothens are considered to be generalists.
This study assessed whether bilingual memory is susceptible to the extreme processing demands of professional simultaneous interpreters (PSIs). Seventeen PSIs and 17 non-interpreter bilinguals completed word production, lexical retrieval, and verbal fluency tasks. PSIs exhibited enhanced fluency in their two languages, and they were faster to translate words in both directions. However, no significant differences emerged in picture naming or word reading. This suggests that lexical enhancements in PSIs are confined to their specifically trained abilities (vocabulary search, interlingual reformulation), with no concomitant changes in other word-processing mechanisms. Importantly, these differences seem to reflect specifically linguistic effects, as both samples were matched for relevant executive skills. Moreover, only word translation performance correlated with the PSIs’ years of interpreting experience. Therefore, despite their tight cooperation, different subcomponents within bilingual memory seem characterized by independent, usage-driven flexibility.
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.
The Brangus breed was developed to combine the superior characteristics of both of its founder breeds, Angus and Brahman. It combines the high adaptability to tropical and subtropical environments, disease resistance, and overall hardiness of Zebu cattle with the reproductive potential and carcass quality of Angus. It is known that the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, also known as bovine leucocyte antigen: BoLA), located on chromosome 23, encodes several genes involved in the adaptive immune response and may be responsible for adaptation to harsh environments. The objective of this work was to evaluate whether the local breed ancestry percentages in the BoLA locus of a Brangus population diverged from the estimated genome-wide proportions and to identify signatures of positive selection in this genomic region. For this, 167 animals (100 Brangus, 45 Angus and 22 Brahman) were genotyped using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array. The local ancestry analysis showed that more than half of the haplotypes (55.0%) shared a Brahman origin. This value was significantly different from the global genome-wide proportion estimated by cluster analysis (34.7% Brahman), and the proportion expected by pedigree (37.5% Brahman). The analysis of selection signatures by genetic differentiation (Fst) and extended haplotype homozygosity-based methods (iHS and Rsb) revealed 10 and seven candidate regions, respectively. The analysis of the genes located within these candidate regions showed mainly genes involved in immune response-related pathway, while other genes and pathways were also observed (cell surface signalling pathways, membrane proteins and ion-binding proteins). Our results suggest that the BoLA region of Brangus cattle may have been enriched with Brahman haplotypes as a consequence of selection processes to promote adaptation to subtropical environments.
Daytime restricted feeding (2 h of food access from 12.00 to 14.00 hours for 3 weeks) is an experimental protocol that modifies the relationship between metabolic networks and the circadian molecular clock. The precise anatomical locus that controls the biochemical and physiological adaptations to optimise nutrient use is unknown. We explored the changes in liver oxidative lipid handling, such as β-oxidation and its regulation, as well as adaptations in the lipoprotein profile. It was found that daytime restricted feeding promoted an elevation of circulating ketone bodies before mealtime, an altered hepatic daily rhythmicity of 14CO2 production from radioactive palmitic acid, and an up-regulation of the fatty acid oxidation activators, the α-subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the deacetylase silent mating type information regulation homolog 1, and the transcriptional factor PPARγ-1α coactivator. An increased localisation of phosphorylated α-subunit of AMPK in the periportal hepatocytes was also observed. Liver hepatic lipase C, important for lipoprotein transformation, showed a change of daily phase with a peak at the time of food access. In serum, there was an increase of LDL, which was responsible for a net elevation of circulating cholesterol. We conclude that our results indicate an enhanced fasting response in the liver during daily synchronisation to food access, which involves altered metabolic and cellular control of fatty acid oxidation as well a significant elevation of serum LDL. These adaptations could be part of the metabolic input that underlies the expression of the food-entrained oscillator.
In this paper, we determine the habitability of Sun-like stars in the Galaxy using Monte Carlo simulations, which are guided by the factors of the Drake Equation for the considerations on the astrophysical and biological parameters needed to generate and maintain life on a planet's surface. We used a simple star distribution, initial mass function and star formation history to reproduce the properties and distribution of stars within the Galaxy. Using updated exoplanet data from the Kepler mission, we assign planets to some of the stars, and then follow the evolution of life on the planets that met the habitability criteria using two different civilization hypotheses. We predict that around 51% of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) are inhabited by primitive life and 4% by technological life. We apply the results to the Kepler field of view, and predicted that there should be at least six Earth-like planets in the HZ, three of them inhabited by primitive life. According to our model, non-technological life is very common if there are the right conditions, but communicative civilizations are less likely to exist and detect. Nonetheless, we predict a considerable number of detectable civilizations within our Galaxy, making it worthwhile to keep searching.
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.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
To describe the investigation and control of a rare cluster of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase–producing Citrobacter freundii in a hospital in southern Florida.
An epidemiologic investigation, review of infection prevention procedures, and molecular studies including whole genome sequencing were conducted.
An outbreak of K. pneumoniae carbapenemase–3-producing C. freundii was identified at a tertiary hospital in Florida in 2014. Of the 6 cases identified, 3 occurred in the same intensive care unit and were caused by the same clone. For 2 of the 3 remaining cases, the isolates had low carbapenem minimum inhibitory concentrations and were unrelated by whole genome sequencing. As a response to the outbreak, supplementary environmental cleaning was implemented, including closure and terminal cleaning of the unit where the 3 cases clustered, in addition to the infection control bundle already in place at the time. No further cases were identified after these additional interventions.
Although C. freundii is not a species that commonly demonstrates carbapenem resistance, our findings suggest that carbapenemase-producing C. freundii may be underdetected even when active surveillance is in place and has a potential to cause hospital outbreak.
Entamoeba histolytica is the causative agent of amoebic liver abscess (ALA), which course with an uncontrolled inflammation and nitro-oxidative stresses, although it is well known that amoeba has an effective defence mechanisms against this toxic environment, the underlying molecular factors responsible for progression of tissue damage remain largely unknown. The purpose of the present study was to determine during the acute stage of ALA in hamsters, the involvement of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), which are activated in response to oxidative stress. From 12 h post-infection the ALA was visible, haematoxylin-eosin and Masson's trichrome stains were consistent with these observations, and alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase serum activities were increased too. At 48 h after infection, liver glycogen content was significantly reduced. Western blot analyses showed that 4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal peaked at 12 h, while glycogen synthase kinase-3β, cleaved caspase-3, pNF-κB, interleukin-1β and tumour necrosis factor-α were overexpressed from 12 to 48 h post-infection. Otherwise, Nrf2 and superoxide dismutase-1, decreased at 48 h and catalase declined at 36 and 48 h. Furthermore, heme oxygenase-1 was increased at 12 and 24 h and decreased to normal levels at 36 and 48 h. These findings suggest for the first time that the host antioxidant system of Nrf2 is influenced during ALA.
A point mutation resulting in a specific amino acid change(K27M) in either one of the genes encoding histone H3, H3F3A (H3.3) or HIST1H3B/C/I (H3.1)is present in most pediatric intrinsic pontine gliomas, and has been described in other midline locations. The objective of the present study was to determine the frequency and location of this mutation in diffuse infiltrating gliomas in young adults. The study group consisted of 22 consecutive diffuse gliomas in patients under the age of 40 treated at St. Michael’s Hospital, an adult hospital in the University of Toronto system. Ultra-sensitive digital droplet PCR, a method capable of highly sensitive and specific mutation detection affecting either H3.3 or H3.1, was performed on sample DNA to determine H3K27M status. The H3K27M mutation was detected in the gliomas of five patients, aged 17 to 34 years. The male: female ratio was 3:2. The allele frequency ranged from 26% to 44%, reflecting the infiltrating character of the tumors. Three of the tumors where located in the thalamus, one in the medulla, and one was intraventricular. In terms of grading, one tumor was considered WHO grade II, two III, and two IV. In contrast, most tumors in patients with gliomas lacking the K27M mutation (17 subjects, age 19 to 39 years) were located in the lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, with the following exceptions: 1 in the thalamus, 1 in the hypothalamus, 1 in the cerebellum, and 1 periventricular. WHO grades were 1 II, 9 III, 7 IV. Correlation with patient outcome is ongoing. We conclude that the H3K27M is common in thalamic gliomas in young adult patients, and rare or absent in lobar hemispheric gliomas.
In 2007 I published the first part of some manuscript notes on the text of Menander Rhetor, which I attributed to F. Jacobs (1764–1847). I now present the second part of these notes, alongside a global assessment of all the coniectanea and corrections by F. Jacobs on the text of this rhetor.
Equipment wear is caused by the disintegration of material due to the contact between the machines components and the ore, resulting in stress to the surface of the material. Wear causes loss of efficiency, vibration, misalignment and, in severe cases, cracks that may lead to fracture and damage to the equipment. In mining, wear is caused by operational problems in which generate high costs. Some researchers studied white cast iron alloys with high chromium and the addition of niobium for wear plates manufacturing and therefore, plates to protect structural parts of the equipment have been developed. This study presents the characterization of the microstructure of two alloys of white cast iron with high chromium containing 3.8 wt.% C and 27.1 wt.% Cr and the addition of 0.9 wt.% Nb (alloy 1) and 1.6 wt.% Nb (alloy 2), respectively. Samples of the two alloys were subjected to metallographic tests, microhardness and abrasion type rubber wheel tests, according to the ASTM: G65-91 standard. Complexes carbides have been identified in both alloys. The results of microhardness and wear resistance tests were correlated and identified the effect of niobium addition. The findings suggest that the addition of niobium in these alloys contributes to the formation of NbC and increase of Cr in the matrix; consequently increase in the hardenability of the material. The wear resistance of alloy 2 was 47.95% higher than alloy 1 in abrasion type rubber wheel tests. It demonstrates that the increase of niobium in the alloy has contributed to improve wear resistance due to the substantial change in the microstructure and distribution of NbC carbides.
The synthesis of Fe3O4-Ag bimetallic nanoparticles by chemical reduction was carried out. Fe nanoparticles were obtained using Fe (III) Chloride hexahydrate (FeCl3•6H2O) as precursor and sodium borohydride (NaBH4) as reducing agent, subsequently, a solution of silver nitrate (AgNO3) was added to the reaction. The synthesis methodology employed in this case, is a modification of chemical reduction method. Through this procedure has been possible simplify the synthesis route used to obtain bimetallic systems such as Fe3O4-Ag. Particles with semi-spherical morphology were observed. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HREM), ultraviolet visible spectroscopy (UV-is) and quasi-elastic light scattering (QELS) techniques were employed for the structural characterization of Fe3O4-Ag nanostructures. Some models presented describe and prove the formation of the Fe3O4-Ag alloy type structures.
Chitosan is biocompatible polymer has a great commercial interest because it can be processed in a sort of devices varying in shape and size, such as membranes, gels and nanoparticles. Mostly, the cell’s attachment and proliferation are very positive on nanostructurated materials with a three-dimensional formation. An irreversible network can be produced by covalently binding the polymer to the cross-linker molecules. Chitosan nanoparticles were prepared using glutaraldehyde as cross-linker. This crosss-liker mostly reacts with chitosan amino groups. In order to control and understand the physical characteristics of chitosan nanoparticle, in this work is showed the molecular behavior of chitosan/glutaraldehyde from the viewpoint of molecular interactions base in a series of molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulation. The results indicated the conformations of both molecules, which had a significant influence on the molecular association. The chitosan chains were uniformly distributed presenting a high flexibility and preference for the relaxed two-fold helix. This was due to the various associations such as intramolecular chitosan interactions –O-H···O-C-. While the chitosan-glutaraldehyde associations were due to the positive net charge density of hydrogens in the chitosan plus - H2N···C=O associations. In solid state chitosan nano and microparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). According to the micrographs results, the nanoparticles presented a monomorphism with piles of particles arranged in linear order which was consistent with the conformations determined by simulation.