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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
Genetic variants associated with dietary intake may be important as factors underlying the development of obesity. We investigated the associations between the obesity candidate genes (fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO), melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), leptin (LEP) and leptin receptor) and total energy intake and percentage of energy from macronutrients and ultra-processed foods before and during pregnancy. A sample of 149 pregnant women was followed up in a prospective cohort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A FFQ was administered at 5–13 and 30–36 weeks of gestation. Genotyping was performed using real-time PCR. Associations between polymorphisms and the outcomes were investigated through multiple linear regression and ANCOVA having pre-pregnancy dietary intake as a covariate. The A-allele of FTO-rs9939609 was associated with a −6·5 % (95 % CI −12·3, −0·4) decrease in the percentage of energy from protein and positively associated with the percentage of energy from carbohydrates before pregnancy (β=2·6; 95 % CI 0·5, 4·8) and with a 13·3 % (95 % CI 0·7, 27·5) increase in the total energy intake during pregnancy. The C-allele of MC4R-rs17782313 was associated with a −7·6 % (95 % CI −13·8, −1·0) decrease in the percentage of energy from protein, and positively associated with the percentage of energy from ultra-processed foods (β=5·4; 95 % CI 1·1, 9·8) during pregnancy. ANCOVA results revealed changes in dietary intake from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy for FTO-rs9939609 (percentage of energy from ultra-processed foods, P=0·03), MC4R-rs17782313 (total energy intake, P=0·02) and LEP-rs7799039 (total energy intake, P=0·04; percentage of energy from protein, P=0·04). These findings suggest significant associations between FTO-rs9939609, MC4R-rs17782313 and LEP-rs7799039 genes and the components of dietary intake in pregnant women.
Electroejaculation (EE) is stressful and probably painful; thus the administration of anaesthesia is recommended to decrease those negative effects. However, anaesthesia has a direct risk of provoking death, but sedation is less risky than anaesthesia. At the same time, α2-adrenergic agonists may improve semen quality. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the physiological and behavioural responses indicative of stress and possibly pain, and the semen quality in electroejaculated untreated, anaesthetised or sedated goat bucks. Semen was collected from eight bucks using three different procedures in all them (EE in untreated bucks, EE under sedation or EE under general anaesthesia). The number of vocalizations during EE and the behavioural pattern before and after procedures were recorded. Pain visual analogue scale (VAS) score was also determined during EE. Rectal temperature, heart rate, serum cortisol concentration, biochemical and haematological parameters were measured before and after each procedure, and sperm characteristics were determined. Bucks vocalised more often when untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.02). The pain VAS score was greater when bucks were untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.002). The rectal temperature, heart rate, total protein, albumin and haemoglobin concentrations were greater when bucks were untreated than anaesthetised or sedated (P<0.02). Serum cortisol increased after EE (P=0.0006), without differences between procedures. The frequency and duration of lying down after EE were greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.05), and were also greater when bucks were sedated than untreated (P<0.05). The number of times that the animal tried to stand up after EE was greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.02). The sperm mass motility was greater when bucks were anaesthetised or sedated than when they were untreated (P=0.048). When animals were sedated, the ejaculate contained more spermatozoa with functional plasma membrane (P=0.03) and morphologically normal (P=0.05) than when they were untreated. In conclusion, general anaesthesia and sedation decreased the stress and probably the pain response provoked by EE and especially sedation improved the quality of the semen collected.
Isotopic composition of leaf carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) is determined by biotic and abiotic factors. In order to determine the influence of leaf habit and site on leaf δ13C and δ15N in the understorey of two Atlantic forests in Brazil that differ in annual precipitation (1200 and 1900 mm), we measured these isotopes in the shaded understorey of 38 tropical tree species (20 in the 1200-mm site and 18 in the 1900-mm site). Mean site values for δ15N were significantly lower at the 1200-mm site (−1.4‰) compared with the 1900-mm site (+3.0‰), and δ13C was significantly greater in the 1200-mm site (−30.4‰) than in the 1900-mm site (−31.6‰). Leaf C concentration was greater and leaf N concentration was lower at 1200-mm than at 1900-mm. Leaf δ15N was negatively correlated with δ13C across the two sites. Leaf δ13C and δ15N of evergreen and deciduous species were not significantly different within a site. No significant phylogenetic signal for any traits among the study species was found. Overall, site differences were the main factor distinguishing traits among species, suggesting strong functional convergence to local climate and soils within each site for individuals in the shaded understorey.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We report new calculations of M/LB ratios for galaxies, which are considered to be closed homogeneous systems. A Salpeter's law was assumed for the initial mass function. The star formation rate was considered to be proportional to the amount of available gas. Spiral galaxies were considered to be constituted by two components: the bulge and the disk. Each component is characterized by its own timescale for the gas convertion into stars. We used the bulge-to-disk average light ratios by Koppen & Arimoto (1990) in order to derive the integral properties for the different morphological types. In our computatios we used the grid of models by Maeder & Meynet (1988) for stellar masses in the range 100 < m < 1 and the evolutionary tracks compiled by Bruzual (1982) for lower masses.
We have investigated the V, B – V “clump” morphology of the globular cluster NGC 6553 (Ortolani et al. 1990, OBB90) through synthetic horizontal branch (SHB) models. Catelan's (1993) computations were extended to more metal-rich compositions, following Sweigart (1987) and Castellani et al. (1991), and transposed to the observational plane on the basis of VandenBerg's (1992) colour transformations and bolometric corrections. Observational scatter has also been added. In general, the SHB models are very clumpy, unlike the observed feature, which seems extended and peculiarly tilted. However, for particular combinations of helium abundance, metallicity, and mean mass on the HB, tilted models result, being however significantly less sloped and wider than observed. The NGC 6553 field is differentially reddened by ΔE(B – V) ≈ 0.06 (OBB90), which has been modelled, but which implies a CMD scatter which is smaller than the one originating from evolution away from the zero-age HB alone. We have also investigated the age of the cluster (ΔV method) and location of the red giant branch “bump,” in comparison with 47 Tuc. Since the helium and α-elements abundances are not known for NGC 6553, three chemical evolution scenarios have been considered, following the method of de Freitas Pacheco (1993). Details can be found elsewhere (Catelan et al. 1994).
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
Chemical evolution studies of the Clouds based on detailed abundance analyses are essentially limited nowadays to young objects like HII regions (Dufour 1984; Garnett et al. 1995), planetary nebulae (e.g. de Freitas Pacheco et al. 1993), supernova remnants (Russell & Dopita 1990) and supergiant stars either of F-K type (Hill et al. 1995) or B ones (e.g. Rolleston et al. 1996 and references therein). One exception to this was presented by Dopita et al. (1997) where HST data permitted to date planetary nebulae nuclei and to present an age vs. metallicity model.
Low pasture allowance during gestation affects ewes’ BW at parturition, the bond with their lamb, lamb development, and thus also may affect their responses to weaning. The objectives were to determine if native pasture allowance from before conception until late pregnancy affects ewe–lamb behaviours at lambing, ewes’ milk yield, lambs’ BW, and the behavioural and physiological changes of ewes and lambs at weaning. From 23 days before conception until 122 days of pregnancy, 24 ewes grazed on two different native pasture allowances: high (10 to 12 kg of dry matter (DM)/100 kg of BW per day; HPA treatment; n=12) or low (5 to 8 kg of DM/100 kg of BW per day; LPA treatment; n=12). Thereafter, all ewes grazed on Festuca arundinacea and received rice bran and crude glycerine. Ewes’ body condition score (BCS) and BW were recorded during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Milk yield was determined on days 32, 41 and 54 after lambing. Lambs’ BW was recorded from birth until 72 days after lambing. Latency from parturition until the ewe licked her lamb, maternal behaviour score (a test that evaluates maternal attachment to the lamb) and latency for lamb to stand up and suckle were determined. The behaviour of the lambs and ewes was recorded before and after weaning (at 65 days). The ewes’ serum total protein, albumin and globulin concentrations were measured before and after weaning. The HPA ewes presented greater BW (P<0.005) and BCS (P<0.005) than the LPA ewes during pregnancy and postpartum (P<0.04), and had a greater milk yield than the LPA ewes (P<0.03). Treatments did not influence any behaviour at lambing, lambs’ BW, neither the ewes’ behavioural and physiological changes at weaning. HPA lambs paced and vocalized more than LPA lambs (P<0.0001). The variation of albumin concentration before and after weaning was greater in the HPA lambs than in the LPA lambs (P<0.0001). In conclusion, although ewes’ BW, BCS and milk production were affected by pasture allowance until late pregnancy, this did not affect the behaviours that lead to the establishment of the mother–young bond, nor the ewes’ behavioural responses at weaning. Lambs reared by ewes that grazed on low pasture allowance during pregnancy presented fewer behavioural changes and a lower decrease of albumin concentration after weaning. Lambs’ BW was not affected by the feeding received by their mothers.
Through computed synthetic spectra for individual stars in the Mg2 index region where different values of [Mg/Fe] were considered, and observed features Fe5270 and Fe5335 in a sample of 80 stars, we derived relations Mg2 and <Fe> = f(Teff, log g, [Fe/H], [Mg/Fe]). These relations were used to compute integrated indices for single aged populations, where number counts in colour-magnitude diagrams were used. A multi-population model was then built through a convolution of the single stellar population indices with a metallicity and luminosity distribution for elliptical galaxies, where a chemical evolution model includes enrichment by type II and I supernovae. A grid of 80 multi-population models was computed, by varying the efficiency of star formation rate. In Figure 1 are shown the results for [Mg/Fe] = 0.0, 0.3 and 0.6 compared to observational data by Worthey et al. (1992). An average value of [Mg/Fe] = 0.3 is found for the sample ellipticals.
In this work we report new high quality spectroscopic data for a sample of PNe in the SMC, aiming to derive physical parameters and chemical abundances, in particular to settle the question concerning the oxygen discrepancy found for type I planetaries with respect to stars and HII regions.
Oilseeds offer some protection to the access of ruminal microorganisms and may be an alternative to calcium salts of fatty acids (FA), which are not fully inert in the ruminal environment. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different sources of FA supplementation on apparent total tract nutrient digestibility, milk yield and composition, and energy balance (EB) of cows during the transition period and early lactation. We compared diets rich in C18:2 and C18:3 FA. Multiparous Holstein cows were randomly assigned to receive one of the four diets: control (n=11); whole flaxseed (WF, n=10), 60 and 80 g/kg (diet dry matter (DM) basis) of WF during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively; whole raw soybeans (WS, n=10), 120 and 160 g/kg (diet DM basis) of WS during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively; and calcium salts of unsaturated fatty acids (CSFA, n=11), 24 and 32 g/kg (diet DM basis) of CSFA during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively. Dry cows fed WF had higher DM and net energy of lactation (NEL) intake than those fed WS or CSFA. The FA supplementation did not alter DM and NDF apparent total tract digestibility, dry cows fed WF exhibited greater NDF total tract digestion than cows fed WS or CSFA. Feeding WS instead of CSFA did not alter NEL intake and total tract digestion of nutrients, but increased milk fat yield and concentration. Calculated efficiency of milk yield was not altered by diets. FA supplementation increased EB during the postpartum period. Experimental diets increased long-chain FA (saturated and unsaturated FA) in milk. In addition, cows fed WS and CSFA had higher C18:1 trans-11 FA and C18:2 cis, and lower C18:3 FA in milk than those fed WF. Furthermore, cows fed CSFA had higher C18:1 trans-11 and cis-9, trans-11 FA than cows fed WS. Although supplemental C18:2 and C18:3 FA did not influence the milk yield of cows, they positively affected EB and increased unsaturated long-chain FA in milk fat.
Mg, the only effective p-type dopant for nitrides, is
well-studied in thin films due to the important role the impurity plays in light
emitting diodes and high power electronics. However, there are few reports of Mg
in thick free-standing GaN substrates. Here we evaluate the material quality and
point defects in GaN grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) using metallic
Mg as the doping source. The crystal quality is typical of commercially grown
HVPE substrates, and the photoluminescence measurements reveal distinctively
sharp excitonic and shallow-donor shallow-acceptor features. Secondary ion mass
spectroscopy indicates total Mg concentrations between 7x1016 and
6x1018 cm-3 in the four separate samples studied but,
more significantly, photoluminescence and electron paramagnetic resonance
spectroscopy show that the Mg is incorporated as a shallow acceptor.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
The benefits of mycorrhizal inoculation on growth, yield and nutrition of plants are well documented. However, mycorrhiza use in pepper and sweet pepper crops (Capsicum spp.) is still rarely exploited compared to other crops of economic importance. The current paper reviews the main aspects of the association between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and plants of pepper and sweet pepper. It includes topics about the effects of AM fungi on nutrition, growth and yield in Capsicum spp., paying particular attention to AM fungi–pathogen interactions, responses to some environmental stresses, as well as biochemical and physiological aspects of AM fungi–plant interaction in Capsicum annuum L.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Quality of pork depends on genotype, rearing and pre- and post-slaughter conditions. However, no information is available on rearing system changes and oleic acid supplementation on carcass characteristics and fatty acid (FA) profile of pork from the Alentejano (AL) pig, an obese breed. This study evaluates the effects of feeding low (LO) or high oleic acid diets (HO) to AL pigs reared in individual pens (IND) or outdoor (OUT) with access to pasture. Carcass composition was obtained and longissimus dorsi and semimembranosus samples were collected to analyse chemical composition and neutral and polar intramuscular lipids FA profile by gas chromatography. Statistical analysis was performed by a two-way ANOVA for rearing system and diet effects. OUT-reared pigs presented leaner carcasses than IND-reared ones. Both muscles presented lower intramuscular lipid content in OUT-reared pigs. Treatments affected the FA profile of muscles. Overall, OUT-reared pigs presented lower n-6/n-3 FA ratios, whereas pigs fed the HO diet exhibited lower saturated fatty acids (SFA), higher monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) levels and lower thrombogenic indexes on neutral intramuscular lipids than LO-fed pigs. On the polar fraction, OUT-reared pigs presented lower SAT and n-6/n-3 FA ratio, and higher polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) levels on both muscles. Pigs fed the HO diet exhibited higher MUFA and lower PUFA levels on both muscles, and lower SAT levels on semimembranosus. This study shows rearing system and oleic acid supplementation have complementary effects and influence carcass composition and the nutritional quality of meat.