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Pregnancy and calving are elements indispensable for dairy production, but the daily milk yield of cows decline as pregnancy progresses, especially during the late stages. Therefore, the effect of stage of pregnancy on daily milk yield must be clarified to accurately estimate the breeding values and lifetime productivity of cows. To improve the genetic evaluation model for daily milk yield and determine the effect of the timing of pregnancy on productivity, we used a test-day model to assess the effects of stage of pregnancy on variance component estimates, daily milk yields and 305-day milk yield during the first three lactations of Holstein cows. Data were 10 646 333 test-day records for the first lactation; 8 222 661 records for the second; and 5 513 039 records for the third. The data were analyzed within each lactation by using three single-trait random regression animal models: one model that did not account for the stage of pregnancy effect and two models that did. The effect of stage of pregnancy on test-day milk yield was included in the model by applying a regression on days pregnant or fitting a separate lactation curve for each days open (days from calving to pregnancy) class (eight levels). Stage of pregnancy did not affect the heritability estimates of daily milk yield, although the additive genetic and permanent environmental variances in late lactation were decreased by accounting for the stage of pregnancy effect. The effects of days pregnant on daily milk yield during late lactation were larger in the second and third lactations than in the first lactation. The rates of reduction of the 305-day milk yield of cows that conceived fewer than 90 days after the second or third calving were significantly (P<0.05) greater than that after the first calving. Therefore, we conclude that differences between the negative effects of early pregnancy in the first, compared with later, lactations should be included when determining the optimal number of days open to maximize lifetime productivity in dairy cows.
In the current research, we have utilized sol-gel electrophoresis technique to grow PbTiO3 nanotube arrays in porous anodic alumina template channels. By using this method high quality and more condense nanotubes are obtained compared with other usual sol-gel methods. Also, the effect of the anodizing parameters on the diameter of the template pores, and effect of electrophoresis voltage on wall thickness were investigated.
Pentacene-based ferroelectric gate transistors with croconic acid (CrA) thin film was fabricated for the first time. The memory window (MW) of 1.9 V was obtained from the capacitance-voltage (C-V) characteristics of Al/CrA(50 nm)/SiO2/Si(100) metal-ferroelectric-insulator-semiconductor (MFIS) diode, where the deposition temperature of CrA was room temperature (RT). Butterfly type C-V characteristics was observed for Al/CrA(50 nm)/Al/SiO2/ Si(100) metal-ferroelectric-metal (MFM) diode. Furthermore, a pentacene-based p-type organic field-effect transistor (OFET) with CrA gate insulator was fabricated, and clockwise hysteresis loop was observed in ID-VG characteristic, which is attributed to the ferroelectric properties of CrA gate insulator.
In this paper, we explore the interfacial effects appearing in highly strained La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 (LCMO) ultra-thin films (10-12nm) grown on BaTiO3 (BTO) ferroelectric substrates. The strong tendency to phase separation of this optimally doped manganite contributes to the exotic phenomena observed in magnetism and transport experiments: the so-called Matteucci magnetic loops, magnetic granularity and a second metal insulator transition are observed between 50K and the LCMO Curie temperature, 180K. All these properties define the multiferroic character of these heterostructures, which in LCMO//BTO system is strongly linked to magnetoelastic coupling.
NEWAGE is a direction-sensitive dark matter search experiment with a gaseous
time-projection chamber. We improved the direction-sensitive dark matter limits by our
underground measurement. In this paper, R&D activities sinse the first underground
measurement are described.
An experimental study on the adhesion of thin films was conducted for the ultraviolet (UV)-cured SiOC films on Si substrate by examining the mechanical energy balance during the indentation process combined with atomic force microscopy observation. The effect of UV cure on the interfacial delamination toughness and the structure of the SiOC films are discussed. The energy release rate of the SiOC film/Si substrate interfacial delamination increases with the increases in the time of UV curing, indicating that the indentation method is efficient to examine the adhesion of coating. As the UV curing time increases, the film thickness and the Si–CH3 bond structure decrease, whereas the SiO2 network structure develops and the mechanical properties of the film are improved. Furthermore, the energy release rate of SiOC film/Si interfacial delamination is well correlated in a proportional manner to the Young's modulus of the film.
Acute diarrhoea remains a major public health challenge in developing countries. We examined the role of a probiotic in the prevention of acute diarrhoea to discover if there was an effect directed towards a specific aetiology. A double-blind, randomized, controlled field trial involving 3758 children aged 1–5 years was conducted in an urban slum community in Kolkata, India. Participants were given either a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or a nutrient drink daily for 12 weeks. They were followed up for another 12 weeks. The primary outcome of this study was the occurrence of first episodes of diarrhoea. We assessed this during 12 weeks of intake of study agent and also for 12 weeks of follow-up. There were 608 subjects with diarrhoea in the probiotic group and 674 subjects in the nutrient group during the study period of 24 weeks. The level of protective efficacy for the probiotic was 14% (95% confidence interval 4–23, P<0·01 in adjusted model). The reduced occurrence of acute diarrhoea in the probiotic group compared to nutrient group was not associated with any specific aetiology. No adverse event was observed in children of either probiotic or nutrient groups. The study suggests that daily intake of a probiotic drink can play a role in prevention of acute diarrhoea in young children in a community setting of a developing country.
ASTRO-H is a next-generation JAXA X-ray satellite to be launched in 2014. The Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD) onboard ASTRO-H is a semi-conductor Compton camera with a narrow field-of-view (FOV) to achieve very low background. Although the SGD is primarily a spectrometer in the 40–600 keV energy band, it is also sensitive to polarization in the 50–200 keV energy band. This paper describes instrument design, expected performance, and experimental validation of polarimetric performance of the SGD.
ASTRO-H, the new Japanese X-ray Astronomy Satellite following Suzaku, is a combination of
high energy-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy (0.3–10 keV) provided by thin-foil X-ray optics (SXT, Soft X-ray Telescope) and a microcalorimeter array (SXS, Soft X-ray Spectrometer);
soft X-ray imaging spectroscopy (0.5–12 keV) provided by SXT and a CCD (SXI, Soft X-ray Imager);
hard X-ray imaging spectroscopy (3–80 keV) provided by multi-layer coating, focusing hard X-ray mirrors (HXT, Hard X-ray Telescope) and silicon (Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) cross-strip detectors (HXI, Hard X-ray Imager);
soft gamma-ray spectroscopy (40–600 keV) provided by semiconductor Compton camera with narrow FOV (SGD, Soft Gamma-ray Detector).
The SXT-SXS and SGD systems will be developed by an international collaboration led by Japanese and US institutions.
The SXS will use a 6×6 format microcalorimeter array. The energy resolution is expected to be better than 7 eV. The FOV and the effective area will be, respectively, about 3 arc minutes and about 210 cm2 combined with the ∼6 m focal-length SXT.
La(Fe0.88Si0.12)13 shows peculiar magnetic properties such as the first order paramagnetic-ferromagnetic transition and magnetic-field induced metamagnetic transition accompanied by the lattice expansion. The practical application using the magnetic transition temperature controlled by hydrogen absorption is expected in this compound. Here, the electronic structure of La(Fe0.88Si0.12)13 has been investigated by photoemission spectroscopy using synchrotron soft x-rays. The Fe 3s core-level photoemission spectra below and above the Curie temperature TC exhibit a satellite structure at ~ 4.3 eV higher binding energy than the main peak, which is attributed to the exchange splitting due to the local moment of Fe. The exchange splitting of the Fe 3s photoemission spectrum with the asymmetric line shape shows that the magnetization of La(Fe0.88Si0.12)13 is derived by the exchange split Fe 3d bands like the itinerant ferromagnetism in Fe metal, while the magnetic transition of La(Fe0.88Si0.12)13 is the first order. The valence band photoemission spectrum shows temperature dependence across the TC. The temperature dependence of the photoemission spectra is discussed based on the difference between the electronic structure in the ferromagnetic phase and that in the paramagnetic phase.
For appropriate safety assessment of TRU waste disposal, gasification ratios and distribution coefficients (Kd) of 14C labeled [1, 2-14C] sodium acetate were determined by batch experiments for a Japanese paddy soil sample. Approximately 60% of the total added C-14 was released from the flooded paddy soil into the air as gas forms during 7 days shake-incubation periods. In the present study, the paddy soil was contacted with deionized water and well water, and the lower gasification ratio was found for the well water sample. The similar result was observed for the Kd values. Values of Kd varied from 51 to 138 mL g-1. The lower values were observed when the soil was contacted with well water. When the microorganisms in the samples were killed by glutaraldehyde, both gasification ratios and Kd values were nearly zero. These results suggested that microorganisms responsible for the behavior of C-14 in biosphere. In addition, water characteristics such as dissolved ions, pH and electrical conductivity would affect the gasification ratio and the Kd values.
Sand culture using radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and hydroponics using carrot (Daucus carota L.) were conducted to examine root-uptake of carbon and its assimilation in the form of 14C-acetic acid. 14C-acetic acid (1, 2-14C, radioactivity: 74 kBq) was added to each pot. Radishes were grown under the dark conditions or the light conditions for 24 h. Carrot were grown under the light conditions after 14C-acetic acid addition (radioactivity: 19 kBq). The 14C radioactivity in each plant part was determined. The distribution of 14C in the plants was visualized using autoradiography. For a comparison, autoradiography was also done using 22Na. The results indicated that the root vegetables absorbed 14C through the roots and assimilated it into the shoots and edible parts. However, the amount of 14C-acetic acid absorbed by plants through the roots was considered to be very small. Absorption and assimilation of 14C seemed to be carried out not because of uptake of 14C-acetic acid but because of uptake of 14C in inorganic forms with very low concentration. 14C dominantly transferred to the plant parts where were physiologically active. 14C movement in the plant did not have a close relation to water movement unlike 22Na movement.
This paper summarizes research activities in National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) for evaluation of the radiation effects on selected terrestrial and aquatic organisms as well as the ecosystems. Seven organisms, conifers, fungi, earthworms, springtails, algae, daphnia and Medaka are presently selected to study. For the estimation of possible radiation dose, transfers of radionuclides and related elements from medium to organisms are evaluated. Dose-effect relationships of acute gamma radiation on the survival, growth, and reproduction of selected organisms have been studied. Studies on the effect of chronic gamma radiation at low dose rate were also started. In order to understand the mechanism of radiation effects and to find possible indicators of the effects, information of genome- and metagenome-wide gene expression has been collected. Evaluation of ecological effects of radiation is more challenging task. Study methods by using three-species microcosm were established, and an index for the holistic evaluation of effects on various ecological parameters was proposed. The microcosm has been simulated as a computer simulation code. Developments of more complicated and practical model ecosystems have been started. The Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) has been applied on soil bacterial community in order to evaluate the radiation effects on soil ecosystems.