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The exposure of adult, female, Mediterranean goats during anoestrus to males with induced sexual activity via photostimulation, induces a very high percentage of ovulations. The present work examines the ability of photostimulated bucks to improve the male effect-induced reproductive response of young does over that induced by non-stimulated bucks. A 2×2 factorial experiment was designed, consisting of doe age and buck photoperiod treatments. During seasonal anoestrus, 41 does aged 7 (n=19) or 10 (n=22) months were subjected to the male effect on 10 April; half of each group was exposed to males rendered sexually active by prior exposure to 3 months of long days (16 h of light/day) from 31 October (PHOTO bucks), and half to males maintained under the natural photoperiod (CONTROL bucks). Oestrous activity was recorded daily by direct visual observation of the marks left by male-worn marking harnesses over the 32 days following the bringing of the sexes together (introduction). Doe body weight and body condition were determined weekly. Ovulation was detected by measuring plasma progesterone concentrations twice per week over the 3 weeks after introduction. The ovulation rate was assessed by transrectal ultrasonography. Fecundity, fertility, prolificacy and productivity were also determined. The interaction doe age × buck photoperiod treatment had no effect on any outcome. The percentage of females showing ovulation or oestrus was higher in the does exposed to PHOTO bucks (85% v. 43% for those exposed to CONTROL bucks) they also showed higher fertility (75% v. 43%) and productivity (1.05±0.17 v. 0.57±0.16 kids born per doe serviced) (all P values at least P<0.05). The 10-month-old group showed higher percentage of females showing ovulation, oestrus, fertility and productivity than the 7-month-old does after the male effect (females showing ovulation: 82% v. 42%; showing oestrus: 73% v. 42%; fertility: 73% v. 42% and productivity: 1.09±0.17 v. 0.47±0.14 goat kids born per doe serviced; respectively, all P values at least P<0.05). The present results show that the use of photostimulated males improves the reproductive performance of 7- and 10-month-old does, and may contribute towards increasing their productivity and lifetime reproductive performance.
Mental health is an important factor in responding to natural disasters. Observations of unmet mental health needs motivated the subsequent development of a community-based mental health intervention following one such disaster affecting Peru in 2017.
Two informal human settlements on the outskirts of Lima were selected for a mental health intervention that included: (1) screening for depression and domestic violence, (2) children's activities to strengthen social and emotional skills and diminish stress, (3) participatory theater activities to support conflict resolution and community resilience, and (4) community health worker (CHW) accompaniment to government health services.
A total of 129 people were screened across both conditions, of whom 12/116 (10%) presented with depression and 21/58 (36%) reported domestic violence. 27 unique individuals were identified with at least one problem. Thirteen people (48%) initially accepted CHW accompaniment to government-provided services.
This intervention provides a model for a small-scale response to disasters that can effectively and acceptably identify individuals in need of mental health services and link them to a health system that may otherwise remain inaccessible.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
A Psychomotor DANCe Therapy INtervention (DANCIN) using Latin Ballroom (Danzón) in care homes has previously been shown to enhance well-being for both residents with dementia and staff. The aim of this study was to understand the effect of this approach on the mood and behavior of individual people living with mild to moderate dementia.
A multiple-baseline single-case study across two care homes and one nursing home with 3–6 weeks baseline, 12-weeks DANCIN (30 minutes/twice-weekly sessions), and 12-weeks follow-up was conducted. Seventeen items from the Dementia Mood Assessment Scale (DMAS) outcome measure were adapted with input from senior staff to match participants’ behavior and mood symptoms. Daily monitoring diaries were collected from trained staff on reporting individualized items for ten residents. Data were analyzed, using a non-parametric statistical method known as Percentage of All Non-Overlapping Data (PAND) which provides Phi effect size (ES). Medication use, falls, and life events were registered.
Seven residents participated throughout DANCIN whilst three became observers owing to health deterioration. One participant showed adverse effects in three DMAS items. Nine participants, dancers and observers, showed a small to medium magnitude of change (PAND) in 21 DMAS items, indicating a decrease in the frequency of behavior and mood indices which were regarded as problematic; eight items showed no change.
Despite methodological challenges, the DANCIN model has the potential to facilitate and sustain behavior change and improve mood (e.g. decrease irritability, increase self-esteem) of the residents living with dementia. The study was conducted in two care homes and one nursing home, strengthening the interventions’ validity. Findings suggest DANCIN is appropriate for a larger controlled feasibility study.
Energy reserve, estimated as body condition score (BCS), is the major determinant of the re-initiation of ovarian activity in postpartum cows. Leptin, IGF-I and insulin are positively related to BCS and are putative mediators between BCS and reproductive function. However, when BCS and body composition dissociates, concentrations of these metabolic hormones are altered. We hypothesized that increasing lean muscle tissue, but not fat tissue, would diminish the reproductive response to oestrus induction treatments. Thirty lactating beef cows with BCS of 3.10±1.21 and 75.94±12 days postpartum were divided in two groups. Control cows (n=15) were supplemented with 10.20 kg of concentrate daily for 60 days. Treated cows (n=15) were supplemented equally, and received a β-adrenergic receptor agonist (β-AA; 0.15 mg/kg BW) to achieve accretion of lean tissue mass and not fat tissue mass. Twelve days after ending concentrate supplementation/β-AA treatment, cows received a progestin implant to induce oestrus. Cows displaying oestrus were inseminated during the following 60 days, and maintained with a fertile bull for a further 21 days. Cows in both groups gained weight during the supplementation period (Daily weight gain: Control=0.75 kg v. β-AA=0.89 kg). Cows treated with β-AA had a larger increase in BCS (i.e. change in BCS: control=1 point (score 4.13) v. β-AA=2 points (score 5.06; P<0.05), as a result of muscle accretion (i.e. change in muscle depth: control 0.21 cm v. β-AA 0.97 cm; P<0.05) but not adipose tissue (i.e. change in back fat depth; control 0.13 cm v. β-AA −0.06 cm; P<0.05). The changes in body composition in β-AA cows were associated with a reduction in serum concentrations of IGF-I (25.4%) and leptin (27.9%), without observed changes in insulin. Ovulation and pregnancy to 1st service (P>0.05) did not differ between groups. However, the number of cows displaying oestrus (control 13/15 v. β-AA 8/15; P<0.05) and the percentage cycling (control 6/8 v. β-AA 3/10; P=0.07) after progestin treatment and the pregnancy percentage at the end of the breeding period (control 13/15 v. β-AA 8/15; P<0.05) were lower in β-AA than control cows. In summary, the increase BCS through muscle tissue accretion, but not through fat tissue accretion, resulted in a lower response to oestrus induction, lower percentage of cycling animals and lower pregnancy percentage after progestin treatment; which was associated with a decrease in serum concentrations of leptin and IGF-I.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
Porous silicon (PSi) combines the potential of miniaturization with a very large surface area. The PSi surface can be chemically modified resulting in a high sensitivity (low detection threshold) device for chemical and biomolecular sensing. In previous work, we have shown that redox proteins and fluorescent ligands can be infiltrated into PSi (PSiMc) structures. The hybrid devices have shown interesting new properties produced by the coupling of the individual properties of PSi nanostructures and the modifiers. In this work, we have obtained a PSiMc/redox protein bioelectrode, which presents a quasi-reversible electrochemical response. This effect was attributed to the semiconducting nature of the PSi substrate and to the functional groups of the crosslinking molecules (MPTS), which together produce a capacitive effect on the device. On the other hand, the chemical modification of PSiMc with fluorescent ligands allowed us to fabricate fluorescent PSi hybrid nanostructures, which were tested for the detection of environmental pollutants such as heavy metals (specifically Hg2+). We found that the selectivity of this optical device depends on the selected recognizing molecule. The captured metal induces the formation of a metallic complex that shows higher fluorescence compared with the sensor device. These results demonstrate the viability of using porous silicon as optical sensors and electrochemical biosensors. The infiltration of fluorescent recognizing molecules and proteins into the PSi matrix were evaluated by specular reflectance, FTIR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry.
In a 1-year survey at a university hospital we found that 20·6% (81/392) of patients with antibiotic associated diarrohea where positive for C. difficile. The most common PCR ribotypes were 012 (14·8%), 027 (12·3%), 046 (12·3%) and 014/020 (9·9). The incidence rate was 2·6 cases of C. difficile infection for every 1000 outpatients.
Predisposition to offspring metabolic dysfunction due to poor maternal nutrition differs with the developmental stage at exposure. Post-weaning nutrition also influences offspring phenotype in either adverse or beneficial ways. We studied a well-established rat maternal protein-restriction model to determine whether post-weaning dietary intervention improves adverse outcomes produced by a deficient maternal nutritional environment in pregnancy. Pregnant rats were fed a controlled diet (C, 20% casein) during pregnancy and lactation (CC) or were fed a restricted diet (R, 10% casein isocaloric diet) during pregnancy and C diet during lactation (RC). After weaning, the offspring were fed the C diet. At postnatal day (PND) 70 (young adulthood), female offspring either continued with the C diet (CCC and RCC) or were fed commercial Chow Purina 5001 (I) to further divide the animals into dietary intervention groups CCI and RCI. Another group of mothers and offspring were fed I throughout (III). Offspring food intake was averaged between PND 95–110 and 235–250 and carcass and liver compositions were measured at PND 25 and 250. Leptin (PND 110 and 250) and serum glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol (PND 250) levels were measured. Statistical analysis was carried out using ANOVA. At PND 25, body and liver weights were similar between groups; however, CCC and RCC carcass protein:fat ratios were lower compared with III diet. At PND 110 and 250, offspring CCC and RCC had higher body weight, food intake and serum leptin compared with CCI and RCI. CCI had lower carcass fat and increased protein compared with CCC and improved fasting glucose and triglycerides. Adult dietary intervention partially overcomes adverse effects of programming. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms involved.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The follicle destiny towards ovulation or atresia is multi-factorial in nature and involves outcries, paracrine and endocrine factors that promote cell proliferation and survival (development) or unchain apoptosis as part of the atresia process. In several types of cells, sphingosine-1-phospate (S1P) promotes cellular proliferation and survival, whereas ceramide (CER) triggers cell death, and the S1P/CER ratio may determine the fate of the cell. The aim of present study was to quantify S1P and CER concentrations and their ratio in bovine antral follicles of 8 to 17 mm classified as healthy and atretic antral follicles. Follicles were dissected from cow ovaries collected from a local abattoir. The theca cell layer, the granulosa cells and follicular fluid were separated, and 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) concentrations were measured in the follicular fluid by radioimmunoassay. Based on the E2/P4 ratio, the follicles were classified as healthy (2.2±0.3) or atretic (0.2±0.3). In both follicular compartments (granulosa and theca cell layer), sphingolipids were extracted and S1P and CER concentrations were quantified by HPLC (XTerra RP18; 5 µm, 3.0×150 mm column). Results showed that in both follicular compartments, S1P concentrations were higher in healthy antral follicles than in atretic antral follicles (P<0.05). The concentration of CER in the granulosa cells was higher in atretic antral follicles than in healthy antral follicles, but no differences were observed in the theca cell layer. The S1P/CER ratio in both follicular compartments was also higher in healthy antral follicles. Interestingly, in these follicles, there was a 45-fold greater concentration of S1P than CER in the granulosa cells (P<0.05), whereas in the theca cell layer, S1P had only a 14-fold greater concentration than CER when compared with atretic antral follicles. These results suggest that S1P plays a role in follicle health, increasing cellular proliferation and survival. In contrast, reduction of S1P and the S1P/CER in the antral follicle could trigger cellular death and atresia.
The ferroic phase transition in LaEr(MoO4)3 has been analyzed for the first time. It has been confirmed that this compound undergoes a phase transition from a tetragonal system (paraelectric-paraelastic phase), with space group P-421m [β-Gd2(MoO4)3 averaged phase] to an orthorhombic system (ferroelectric-ferroelastic phase), with space group Pba2 [β'-Gd2(MoO4)3 phase] in a reversible process. This phenomenon, together with the observed demixing at high temperature has been studied using different techniques. LaEr(MoO4)3 samples have been obtained by the conventional solid-state synthesis. The thermal dependence of the crystal structure was studied by powder X-ray and neutron diffraction, following a new refining procedure in which the symmetry modes of atomic displacements from the paraelectric-paraelastic structure were analyzed. Dielectric spectroscopy measurements have confirmed the structural results, showing a very smooth phase transition. Finally, calculations within the framework of Density Functional Theory show a behavior of the lattice parameters similar to that observed in our experiments.
Two polymorphs of Holmium molybdate, known as β'-phase and γ-phase, were prepared by solid state reaction with different thermal treatments. These polycrystalline samples have been studied for the first time by X-ray thermodiffractometry from room temperature up to 1300 K. We found that the initial β'-phase undergoes a transition to a β-phase and then to a γ-phase. The γ (hydrated)-phase, turns to the γ (dehydrated)-phase and then to the β-phase. Each sequence involves a reversible and an irreversible phase transition for Ho2(MoO4)3. Both polymorphs have remarkable physical properties like nonlinear optics, ferroelectricity and negative thermal expansion. We have calculated the linear expansion coefficients of both phases. We have obtained a positive coefficient for the β'-phase and a negative one for the γ-phase. Moreover, we have made a comparison of the obtained coefficients with previous results for other rare earth molybdates.
Triticum urartu Thum. ex Gandil. is a wild species identified as A-genome donor for polyploid wheats, which could be used as gene source for wheat breeding. The high-molecular weight glutenin subunits are endosperm storage proteins that are associated with bread-making quality. In T. urartu, these proteins are encoded by the Ax and Ay genes at the Glu-Au1 locus. The Ay gene of 17 Glu-Au1 allelic variants previously detected in this species has been analysed using PCR amplification and digestion of the PCR products with two endonucleases (DdeI and PstI). The combination of two restriction patterns has revealed variations between the active and inactive alleles, and within each type. This variation, especially that detected among the active alleles, could enlarge the high-quality genetic pool of modern wheat and be used for bread-making quality improvement in durum and common wheat.
One experiment was conducted to determine whether the treatment with artificial long days and exogenous melatonin can induce reproductive activity during spring (seasonal anoestrus) in Mediterranean goats that are in daily contact with bucks and whether this treatment causes a variation in the reactivation of the reproductive activity in the normal breeding season. The experiment started on 4 November 2005 and finished on 27 October 2006. Thirty-four adult and barren does were used, distributed into two groups balanced according to their live weight (LW) and body condition score (BCS). Seventeen females were exposed to long days (16 h of light/day) from 14 November 2005 to 20 February 2006. On 20 February, they received one s.c. melatonin implant (LD-M group) and were exposed to natural photoperiodic changes in an open shed. The other females during the experiment were placed in an open shed under natural photoperiod and remained as the control group (C group). The C and LD-M groups were keeping in contact with males during the whole experiment. During the experiment, the LW, BCS and plasma progesterone concentrations were measured weekly, oestrous activity was tested daily using entire aproned bucks, and ovulation rate was evaluated by laparoscopy 7 days after positive identification of the oestrus. A clear treatment–time interaction was observed for plasma progesterone concentrations (P < 0.001), with a period of high progesterone concentrations during the natural seasonal anoestrus in the LD-M group. Although 94.1% of females in the LD-M group presented ovarian activity during this period, no female in group C did. Resumption of ovarian activity in the subsequent natural breeding season was 2 weeks later in the LD-M group in comparison with group C (P < 0.05). We can conclude that in Mediterranean goat breeding systems, when females are in daily contact with bucks, the treatment with 3 months of long days and melatonin implant at the end of the light photoperiodic treatment can induce ovarian and oestrous activity during the seasonal anoestrus. Finally, this treatment causes a short delay in the subsequent reactivation of ovarian activity in the natural breeding season.
Hulled wheats are neglected crops that have potential in plant breeding programmes of modern durum and common wheat. Among these wheats, three species were widely cultivated in Spain until the mid 20th century: Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum (einkorn), Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum (emmer) and Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta (spelt). One important aspect of wheat grain quality is starch composition, which is related to the action of waxy proteins. A collection of 536 accessions of Spanish hulled wheats was analyzed for waxy protein composition using sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Polymorphism was found for the Wx-A1, Wx-B1 and Wx-D1 proteins, including new and null alleles in the three species. An allelic variant with an electrophoretic mobility not previously described was found in einkorn wheat. In emmer and spelt, some alleles with different mobility were also found. A Wx-B1 null allele was detected in emmer wheat, and null alleles for Wx-A1, Wx-B1 and Wx-D1 were found in spelt wheat. The variations found could be used to enlarge the gene pool available to breeders, and to design new cultivars with different levels of amylose content.
Luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs) are a diverse class of galaxies characterized by high luminosity, blue color, and high surface brightness that sit at the critical juncture of galaxies evolving from the blue to the red sequence. As part of our multi-wavelength survey of local LCBGs, we have been studying the HI content of these galaxies using both single-dish telescopes and interferometers. Our goals are to determine if single-dish HI observations represent a true measure of the dynamical mass of LCBGs and to look for signatures of recent interactions that may be triggering star formation in LCBGs. Our data show that while some LCBGs are undergoing interactions, many appear isolated. While all LCBGs contain HI and show signatures of rotation, the population does not lie on the Tully-Fisher relation nor can it evolve onto it. Furthermore, the HI maps of many LCBGs show signatures of dynamically hot components, suggesting that we are seeing the formation of a thick disk or spheroid in at least some LCBGs. There is good agreement between the HI and Hα kinematics for LCBGs, and both are similar in appearance to the Hα kinematics of high redshift star-forming galaxies. Our combined data suggest that star formation in LCBGs is primarily quenched by virial heating, consistent with model predictions.