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Background: EMBRACE (NCT02462759) Part 1 is a randomized, double-blind, sham-procedure controlled study assessing safety/tolerability of intrathecal nusinersen (12-mg equivalent dose) in symptomatic infants/children with SMA who were not eligible to participate in ENDEAR or CHERISH. Methods: Eligible participants had onset of SMA symptoms at ≤6 months with 3 SMN2 copies; onset at ≤6 months, age >7 months and 2 copies; or onset at >6 months, age ≤18 months, and 2/3 copies. Safety/tolerability was the primary endpoint. Exploratory endpoints included Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination Section 2 (HINE-2) motor milestone attainment, change in ventilator use, and growth. Results: EMBRACE Part 1 was terminated early based on positive results from ENDEAR. Safety/tolerability was similar to previous trials. More nusinersen-treated (11/14;79%) vs. sham–treated individuals (2/7;29%) were HINE-2 motor milestone responders. Between Day 183 and 302, mean (SD) hours of ventilator use changed by +1.236 (3.712) hours in nusinersen-treated (n=12) and +2.123 (3.023) hours in sham–treated individuals (n=7). Similar increases in weight and body length were observed in nusinersen-treated and sham–treated individuals by Day 183. Conclusions: In EMBRACE Part 1, nusinersen demonstrated a favorable benefit-risk profile. These results add to the aggregated efficacy, safety/tolerability data of nusinersen in SMA.
Whilst many of the on-farm factors identified as enhancing pigmeat meat eating quality are already standard commercial practice, variability in quality is still a problem whose reasons are poorly understood. Particular uncertainty exists about the effect on eating quality of increasing slaughter weight, a current development which facilitates reduced cost of production by spreading carcass overhead costs between more kg of saleable meat. However, this strategy means that pigs will be older at slaughter, which carries uncertainties about the risk of increased toughness and boar taint. In targeting a market for branded pigmeat of high eating quality, there may also be beneficial strategies for adoption in carcass selection and post-slaughter management. These questions were addressed as part of a research project on the improvement of meat eating quality in the Scottish red meat sector.
Previous studies have demonstrated that including fish oil (FO) in the diet of beef cattle resulted in increased long chain C20n -3 PUFA (20:5n -3 and 22:6n -3) in muscle resulting in a lower n -6:n -3 ratio (Scollan et al., 2001). However, it may result in negative effects on colour shelf life and organoleptic properties (Vatansever et al., 2000). Fish oil is also a good inhibitor of biohydrogenation in the rumen, resulting in increased production of 18:1trans (TVA), the precursor for conjugated linoleic acid (CLA cis -9, trans -11) in muscle. This study investigated the effects of incremental levels of fish oil in the diet on the fatty acid composition of the m. longissimus dorsi and meat quality.
We have previously demonstrated that feeding red clover relative to grass silage results in meat characterised by higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) but reduced shelf life which was associated with lower levels of vitamin E in the muscle (Scollan et al., 2006). Colour shelf life could be ameliorated by feeding additional vitamin E (Scollan et al., 2006). Feeding red clover silage followed by finishing off pasture may help alleviate the problem of colour shelf life while maintaining the benefit of the legume in delivering higher PUFA into meat. Hence this study examined feeding red clover compared with grass silage during the winter, following by a summer finishing period at grass, on fatty acid composition, vitamin E content of meat, colour shelf life and sensory attributes of beef.
There are many studies that show that breed, gender, age and feeding regime influence animal growth rate, meat yield and composition. These factors, together with slaughter and post-slaughter conditions, are thought to influence tenderness and flavour attributes of meat (Thompson, 2002)). Low variability is highly desirable and processes such as ‘A blueprint for improved consistent quality lamb’ (MLC, 1999) in the UK have attempted to improve the level and consistency of lamb eating quality. The purpose of this trial was to test whether the adoption of several key enhanced on–farm and in-abattoir practices led to improved eating quality throughout the lamb production season, especially for heavier, lean carcasses.
It is the practise for some farmers to supplement new season lambs with concentrates, often as a creep feed, in order to get them to market early before the price declines. This concentrate is usually based on cereals and would be high in n-6 fatty acids, diluting the beneficial effect of grass grazing which promotes the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content in the meat (Fisher et al., 2000). The purpose of this trial was to assess the addition of linseed to the concentrate, fed in a creep-feed system, which would maintain or enhance the n-3 fatty acid composition of the meat of animals fed concentrates at grass during the finishing period (Cooper et al., 2004).
X-ray computed tomography (CT) measurements of live sheep have been used to predict carcass composition very accurately (Macfarlane et al., 2006). The utilisation of spiral CT scans (SCTS) for quantifying muscle volumes and weights, using automatic image analysis procedures has also been shown to be very accurate in sheep (Navajas et al., 2006). Although the limiting size of the CT gantry prevents CT scanning of live beef cattle, beef primal joints are small enough to be scanned. Hence, SCTS could be used to quantify beef carcass composition, and provide valuable information for breeding programmes including composition faster than by anatomical dissection. The objective of this study was to develop a CT image analysis procedure to assess fat, muscle and bone weights of beef carcasses and to evaluate its accuracy.
There are many studies that show that breed, gender, age and feeding regime influence animal growth rate, meat yield and composition. These factors, together with slaughter and post-slaughter conditions, are thought to influence tenderness and flavour attributes of meat (Thompson, 2002)). Low variability is highly desirable and processes such as ‘A blueprint for improved consistent quality beef’ (MLC, 1999) in the UK has attempted to improve the level and consistency of beef eating quality. This project was designed to test a package of best-practice techniques, both on-farm and in-abattoir, on the eating quality of Scottish beef as assessed by a trained sensory panel and a recruited take-home panel.
Effective ruminal protection of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is very useful in helping to reduce microbial biohydrogenation of PUFA and results in major improvements in the ratio of polyunsaturated:saturated fatty acids (P:S) in beef muscle (Scollan et al., 2003). However, in that study the protected lipid study (PLS) used which consisted of soya beans, linseed and sunflower oils mixed to give a 2.4:1 ratio of 18:2n -6:18:3n -3, was less successful in improving the n -6:n -3 ratio in beef muscle. This study reports the effects of including in the diet a PLS with a lower ratio of 18:2n -6:18:3n -3 on the fatty acid composition of the m. longissimus.
Recommendations to improve the UK diet suggest an increase in the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids (P:S ratio) and a higher consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Ruminant meats have a poor P:S ratio, approximately 0.1 compared to the recommendation of 0.4-1.0 for the whole diet. However, the ratio of C18:2 n-6/C18:3 n-3 (the n-6:n-3) is well within the recommended value of <4.0 at approximately 2 and ruminant muscle also supplies longer-chain n-3 PUFA. By feeding lipid in a formaldehyde cross-linked protein matrix, rumen biohydrogenation can be avoided and the tissue PUFA level increased but with potential effects on oxidative shelf-life, colour and flavour of the meat. This trial investigated the fatty acid composition and quality of meat produced by feeding a protected lipid supplement (PLS).
Skatole is formed as a result of bacterial degradation of tryptophan in the rumen of cattle and sheep, and the hindgut of pigs. It accumulates in fat where it is an important component of boar taint in pigs (Claus et al, 1994), and with branched chain fatty acids, has been implicated as a contributor to the strong flavour characteristic of sheepmeat (Young et al, 1997). This study examines the role of breed, diet and age on skatole deposition in the fat and perception of beef flavour.
Some studies with beef cattle have shown that breed and diet affect tissue fatty acid composition and meat quality (Choi et al., 2000; Scollan et al., 2001). However, the effects of breed are often confounded with differences in growth rate and body composition. Diet also affects fatty acid composition, however, feed composition studies are often confounded by the use of mixed diets and few have compared all-forage with all-concentrate diets. This study, therefore, was designed to compare Aberdeen Angus and Holstein-Friesian breeds growing at similar rates and fed either all-forage or a high concentrate diet.
This study aimed to compare the quality of beef from suckler bulls raised on a high-energy concentrate ration and slaughtered at different carcass weights (CW)/ages. In total, 42 spring-born, Charolais and Limousin-sired, weaned suckler bulls were provided with a finishing diet of ad libitum concentrates and grass silage until they reached target CW of 340, 380 and 420 kg. Intramuscular fat (IMF) content tended (P<0.06) to be higher for 420 kg CW than for 380 and 340 kg CW. Sensory tenderness was lower (P<0.001) for 420 kg CW than for 380 and 340 kg CW. Juiciness was higher (P<0.05) for 420 kg CW than for 380 kg CW. Flavour liking was higher (P<0.05) for 420 and 380 kg CW (which did not differ) than for 340 kg CW. Overall, an increase in CW resulted in a slight increase in IMF content which could be responsible for the increase in juiciness and flavour liking of the beef. An increase in CW led to a decrease in the tenderness of the beef even though the overall liking of the beef was not affected.
Research has shown both production and health benefits for the use of chicory (Cichorium intybus) within ruminant diets. Despite this, little was known about the effects of this forage, containing differing fatty acid profiles and secondary plant compounds compared with ryegrass, on beef stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties. An experiment was conducted to investigate whether the inclusion of chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers would alter these three properties in the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Triplicate 2 ha plots were established with a chicory (cv. Puna II)/perennial ryegrass mix or a perennial ryegrass control. A core group of 36 Belgian Blue – cross steers were used within a 2-year beef finishing experiment (n=6/replicate plot). In the 2nd grazing year, steers were slaughtered as they reached a target fat class of 3. Muscle pH was checked 2 and 48 h post-slaughter. A section of the hindloin joint containing the M. Longissimus lumborum muscle was removed and a 20 mm-thick steak was cut and muscle samples were taken for analysis of vitamin E and fatty acid analysis. The remaining section of the loin was vacuum packed in modified atmosphere packs and subjected to simulated retail display. A section of the conditioned loin was used for sensory analysis. Data on pH, vitamin E concentration and colour stability in a simulated retail display showed there were no effects of including chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers on meat stability. There were also no differences found in the fatty acid composition or the overall eating quality of the steaks from the two treatments. In conclusion, there were no substantive effects of including chicory in the swards of grazing beef cattle on meat stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties of the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing ryegrass-only swards.
In grass-based beef production systems (PS), early maturing (EM) breed types may be preferable to late maturing (LM) breed types in achieving adequate carcass fat cover. Biochemical and organoleptic characteristics of muscle from suckler bulls were investigated in EM and LM (n=28/breed) assigned to one of two PS (ad libitum concentrates and grass silage to slaughter (C) or ad libitum silage plus 2 kg concentrate daily during winter followed by 99 days at pasture and then an indoor finishing period on C (GSPC)) in a 2 breed type×2 PS factorial arrangement of treatments. Bulls were managed to have a common target carcass weight of 380 kg. Intramuscular fat (IMF) content was higher (P<0.05) for EM than LM, and for C than GSPC bulls. Collagen solubility was higher (P<0.05) for C than GSPC bulls. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and phosphofructokinase activities were higher (P<0.05) for LM than EM. Isocitrate dehydrogenase activity and the Type I myosin heavy chain (MyHC) proportion were higher (P<0.05) for EM than LM. The LDH activity and the Type IIX MyHC proportion were higher (P<0.05) for C than GSPC bulls. Sensory ratings for tenderness and juiciness were higher (P<0.01) for beef from EM than LM while sensory ratings for tenderness, flavour liking and overall liking were higher (P<0.001) for C than for GSPC bulls. Differences in sensory quality were largely eliminated when adjusted for IMF. Overall, carcass fat scores, IMF and sensory scores were higher in EM than LM and in C than GSPC bulls but most differences in sensory quality could be attributed to differences in IMF.
Eta Carinae is one of the most massive observable binaries. Yet determination of its orbital and physical parameters is hampered by obscuring winds. However the effects of the strong, colliding winds changes with phase due to the high orbital eccentricity. We wanted to improve measures of the orbital parameters and to determine the mechanisms that produce the relatively brief, phase-locked minimum as detected throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We conducted intense monitoring of the He ii λ4686 line in η Carinae for 10 months in the year 2014, gathering ~300 high S/N spectra with ground- and space-based telescopes. We also used published spectra at the FOS4 SE polar region of the Homunculus, which views the minimum from a different direction. We used a model in which the He ii λ4686 emission is produced by two mechanisms: a) one linked to the intensity of the wind-wind collision which occurs along the whole orbit and is proportional to the inverse square of the separation between the companion stars; and b) the other produced by the ‘bore hole’ effect which occurs at phases across the periastron passage. The opacity (computed from 3D SPH simulations) as convolved with the emission reproduces the behavior of equivalent widths both for direct and reflected light. Our main results are: a) a demonstration that the He ii λ4686 light curve is exquisitely repeatable from cycle to cycle, contrary to previous claims for large changes; b) an accurate determination of the longitude of periastron, indicating that the secondary star is ‘behind’ the primary at periastron, a dispute extended over the past decade; c) a determination of the time of periastron passage, at ~4 days after the onset of the deep light curve minimum; and d) show that the minimum is simultaneous for observers at different lines of sight, indicating that it is not caused by an eclipse of the secondary star, but rather by the immersion of the wind-wind collision interior to the inner wind of the primary.
Eta Carinae is the most massive active binary within 10,000 light-years and is famous for the largest non-terminal stellar explosion ever recorded. Observations reveal that the supermassive (~120 M⊙) binary, consisting of an LBV and either a WR or extreme O star, undergoes dramatic changes every 5.54 years due to the stars’ very eccentric orbits (e ≈ 0.9). Many of these changes are caused by a dynamic wind-wind collision region (WWCR) between the stars, plus expanding fossil WWCRs formed one, two, and three 5.54-year cycles ago. The fossil WWCRs can be spatially and spectrally resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS). Starting in June 2009, we used the HST/STIS to spatially map Eta Carinae’s fossil WWCRs across one full orbit, following temporal changes in several forbidden emission lines (e.g. [Feiii] 4659 Å, [Feii] 4815 Å), creating detailed data cubes at multiple epochs. Multiple wind structures were imaged, revealing details about the binary’s orbital motion, photoionization properties, and recent (~5 − 15 year) mass-loss history. These observations allow us to test 3-D hydrodynamical and radiative-transfer models of the interacting winds. Our observations and models strongly suggest that the wind and photoionization properties of Eta Carinae’s binary have not changed substantially over the past several orbital cycles. They also provide a baseline for following future changes in Eta Carinae, essential for understanding the late-stage evolution of this nearby supernova progenitor. For more details, see Gull et al. (2016) and references therein.
Bull beef production is traditionally based on high concentrate rations fed indoors. Inclusion of grazed grass, which is generally a cheaper feed, would decrease the cost of bull beef production, but may affect beef quality. Accordingly, the organoleptic quality and composition of beef from continental-sired suckler bulls (n=126) assigned to either ad libitum concentrates to slaughter (C), grass silage (GS) ad libitum for 120 days followed by C (GSC) or GS followed by 100 days at pasture and then C (GSPC) and slaughtered at target carcass weights (CW) of 360, 410 or 460 kg was examined. Tenderness, flavour liking and overall liking were lower (P<0.05) for GSPC than for C and GSC. Intramuscular fat content and soluble collagen proportion were lower (P<0.05) for GSPC than GSC which was lower (P<0.05) than C. Soluble collagen proportion was lower (P<0.05) for 460 kg than 410 kg CW, which was lower (P<0.05) than 360 kg CW. Inclusion of a grazing period decreased the ratings of tenderness, flavour liking and overall liking, but age of the bulls at slaughter had no clear influence on sensory characteristics.