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Our research group demonstrated that vitamin A restriction affected meat quality of Angus cross and Simmental steers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to highlight the genotype variations in response to dietary vitamin A levels. Commercial Angus and Simmental steers (n = 32 per breed; initial BW = 337.2 ± 5.9 kg; ~8 months of age) were fed a low-vitamin A (LVA) (1017 IU/kg DM) backgrounding diet for 95 days to reduce hepatic vitamin A stores. During finishing, steers were randomly assigned to treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of genotype × dietary vitamin A concentration. The LVA treatment was a finishing diet with no supplemental vitamin A (723 IU vitamin A/kg DM); the control (CON) was the LVA diet plus supplementation with 2200 IU vitamin A/kg DM. Blood samples were collected at three time points throughout the study to analyze serum retinol concentration. At the completion of finishing, steers were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Meat characteristics assessed were intramuscular fat concentration, color, Warner-Bratzler shear force, cook loss and pH. Camera image analysis was used for determination of marbling, 12th rib back fat and longissimus muscle area (LMA). The LVA steers had lower (P < 0.001) serum retinol concentration than CON steers. The LVA treatment resulted in greater (P = 0.03) average daily gain than the CON treatment, 1.52 and 1.44 ± 0.03 kg/day, respectively; however, there was no effect of treatment on final BW, DM intake or feed efficiency. Cooking loss and yield grade were greater and LMA was smaller in LVA steers (P < 0.05). There was an interaction between breed and treatment for marbling score (P = 0.01) and percentage of carcasses grading United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Prime (P = 0.02). For Angus steers, LVA treatment resulted in a 16% greater marbling score than CON (683 and 570 ± 40, respectively) and 27% of LVA Angus steers graded USDA Prime compared with 0% for CON. Conversely, there was no difference in marbling score or USDA Quality Grades between LVA and CON for Simmental steers. In conclusion, feeding a LVA diet during finishing increased marbling in Angus but not in Simmental steers. Reducing the vitamin A level of finishing diets fed to cattle with a high propensity to marble, such as Angus, has the potential to increase economically important traits such as marbling and quality grade without negatively impacting gain : feed or yield grade.
Few personalised medicine investigations have been conducted for mental health. We aimed to generate and validate a risk tool that predicts adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Using logistic regression models, we generated a risk tool in a representative population cohort (ALSPAC – UK, 5113 participants, followed from birth to age 17) using childhood clinical and sociodemographic data with internal validation. Predictors included sex, socioeconomic status, single-parent family, ADHD symptoms, comorbid disruptive disorders, childhood maltreatment, ADHD symptoms, depressive symptoms, mother's depression and intelligence quotient. The outcome was defined as a categorical diagnosis of ADHD in young adulthood without requiring age at onset criteria. We also tested Machine Learning approaches for developing the risk models: Random Forest, Stochastic Gradient Boosting and Artificial Neural Network. The risk tool was externally validated in the E-Risk cohort (UK, 2040 participants, birth to age 18), the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Brazil, 3911 participants, birth to age 18) and the MTA clinical sample (USA, 476 children with ADHD and 241 controls followed for 16 years from a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 26 years old).
The overall prevalence of adult ADHD ranged from 8.1 to 12% in the population-based samples, and was 28.6% in the clinical sample. The internal performance of the model in the generating sample was good, with an area under the curve (AUC) for predicting adult ADHD of 0.82 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.83). Calibration plots showed good agreement between predicted and observed event frequencies from 0 to 60% probability. In the UK birth cohort test sample, the AUC was 0.75 (95% CI 0.71–0.78). In the Brazilian birth cohort test sample, the AUC was significantly lower –0.57 (95% CI 0.54–0.60). In the clinical trial test sample, the AUC was 0.76 (95% CI 0.73–0.80). The risk model did not predict adult anxiety or major depressive disorder. Machine Learning approaches did not outperform logistic regression models. An open-source and free risk calculator was generated for clinical use and is available online at https://ufrgs.br/prodah/adhd-calculator/.
The risk tool based on childhood characteristics specifically predicts adult ADHD in European and North-American population-based and clinical samples with comparable discrimination to commonly used clinical tools in internal medicine and higher than most previous attempts for mental and neurological disorders. However, its use in middle-income settings requires caution.
The present review will present the recent published results and discuss the main effects of nutrients, mainly fatty acids, on the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism. In this sense, the review focuses in two phases: prenatal life and finishing phase, showing how nutrients can modulate gene expression affecting marbling and fatty acid profile in meat from ruminants. Adiposity in ruminants starts to be affected by nutrients during prenatal life when maternal nutrition affects the differentiation and proliferation of adipose cells enhancing the marbling potential. Therefore, several fetal programming studies were carried out in the last two decades in order to better understand how nutrients affect long-term expression of genes involved in adipogenesis and lipogenesis. In addition, during the finishing phase, marbling becomes largely dependent on starch digestion and glucose metabolism, being important to create alternatives to increase these metabolic processes, and modulates gene expression. Different lipid sources and their fatty acids may also influence the expression of genes responsible to encode enzymes involved in fat tissue deposition, influencing meat quality. In conclusion, the knowledge shows that gene expression is a metabolic factor affecting marbling and fatty acid profile in ruminant meat and diets and their nutrients have direct effect on how these genes are expressed.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
A K-band (18-25 GHz) reflected-wave ruby maser (Moore and Clauss 1979) has been borrowed from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for radio astronomy use on the NASA 64-m antenna of the Deep Space Network at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, near Canberra. The purpose of the installation is to provide additional sensitive spectral line, continuum, and VLBI capabilities in the southern hemisphere. Previous measurements at 22.3 GHz (λ = 13.5 mm) determined that the Tidbinbilla 64-m antenna has a peak aperture efficiency of ˜22%, a well-behaved beam shape and consistent pointing (Fourikis and Jauncey 1979). Before installing the maser on the antenna a cooled (circulator) switch was added to provide a beam-switching capability, and a spectral line receiver following the maser was incorporated. The system was assembled and tested at JPL in late 1980 and installed at Tidbinbilla early in 1981. We give here a brief description and present some of the first line observations made in February and March 1981. Extensive line and continuum observations are planned with the present system and a program is under way to determine the telescope pointing characteristics.
Primiparous ewes (n=32) were assigned to dietary treatments in a 2×2 factorial arrangement to determine effects of nutrient restriction and melatonin supplementation on maternal and fetal pancreatic weight, digestive enzyme activity, concentration of insulin-containing clusters and plasma insulin concentrations. Treatments consisted of nutrient intake with 60% (RES) or 100% (ADQ) of requirements and melatonin supplementation at 0 (CON) or 5 mg/day (MEL). Treatments began on day 50 of gestation and continued until day 130. On day 130, blood was collected under general anesthesia from the uterine artery, uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein for plasma insulin analysis. Ewes were then euthanized and the pancreas removed from the ewe and fetus, trimmed of mesentery and fat, weighed and snap-frozen until enzyme analysis. In addition, samples of pancreatic tissue were fixed in 10% formalin solution for histological examination including quantitative characterization of size and distribution of insulin-containing cell clusters. Nutrient restriction decreased (P⩽0.001) maternal pancreatic mass (g) and α-amylase activity (U/g, kU/pancreas, U/kg BW). Ewes supplemented with melatonin had increased pancreatic mass (P=0.03) and α-amylase content (kU/pancreas and U/kg BW). Melatonin supplementation decreased (P=0.002) maternal pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (relative to section of tissue), and size of the largest insulin-containing cell cluster (P=0.04). Nutrient restriction decreased pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (P=0.03) and percent of large (32 001 to 512 000 µm2) and giant (⩾512 001 µm2) insulin-containing cell clusters (P=0.04) in the fetus. Insulin concentrations in plasma from the uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein were greater (P⩽0.01) in animals receiving 100% requirements. When comparing ewes to fetuses, ewes had a greater percentage of medium insulin-containing cell clusters (2001 to 32 000 µm2) while fetuses had more (P<0.001) pancreatic insulin-positive area (relative to section of tissue) and a greater percent of small, large and giant insulin-containing cell clusters (P⩽0.02). Larger insulin-containing clusters were observed in fetuses (P<0.001) compared with ewes. In summary, the maternal pancreas responded to nutrient restriction by decreasing pancreatic weight and activity of digestive enzymes while melatonin supplementation increased α-amylase content. Nutrient restriction decreased the number of pancreatic insulin-containing clusters in fetuses while melatonin supplementation did not influence insulin concentration. This indicated using melatonin as a therapeutic agent to mitigate reduced pancreatic function in the fetus due to maternal nutrient restriction may not be beneficial.
When infants are at risk of being born at a very premature gestation (22–25 weeks), parents face important life-support decisions because of the high mortality for such infants. Concurrently, providers are challenged with providing parents a supportive environment within which to make these decisions. Practice guidelines for medical care of these infants and the principles of perinatal palliative care for families can be resources for providers, but there is limited research to bridge these medical and humanistic approaches to infant and family care. The purpose of this article is to describe how parents at risk of delivering their infant prior to 26 weeks gestation interpreted the quality of their interpersonal interactions with healthcare providers.
Directed content analysis was employed to perform secondary analysis of data from 54 parents (40 mothers and 14 fathers) from the previously coded theme “Quality of Interactions.” These categorized data described parents' encounters, expectations, and experiences of interactions that occurred prenatally with care providers. For this analysis, Swanson's theory of caring was selected to guide analysis and to delineate parents' descriptions of caring and uncaring interactions.
Parents' expectations for caring included: (a) respecting parents and believing in their capacity to make the best decisions for their family (maintaining belief); (b) understanding parents' experiences and their continued need to protect their infant (knowing); (c) physically and emotionally engaging with the parents (being with); (d) providing unbiased information describing all possibilities (enabling); and (e) helping parents navigate the system and creating a therapeutic environment for them in which to make decisions (doing for).
Significance of Results:
Understanding parents' prenatal caring expectations through Swanson's theory gives deeper insights, aligning their expectations with the palliative care movement.
We examine prospectively the influence of two separate but potentially inter-related factors in the etiology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): childhood maltreatment as conferring a susceptibility to the PTSD response to adult trauma and juvenile disorders as precursors of adult PTSD.
The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS) is a birth cohort (n = 1037) from the general population of New Zealand's South Island, with multiple assessments up to age 38 years. DSM-IV PTSD was assessed among participants exposed to trauma at ages 26–38. Complete data were available on 928 participants.
Severe maltreatment in the first decade of life, experienced by 8.5% of the sample, was associated significantly with the risk of PTSD among those exposed to adult trauma [odds ratio (OR) 2.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16–6.01], compared to no maltreatment. Moderate maltreatment, experienced by 27.2%, was not associated significantly with that risk (OR 1.55, 95% CI 0.85–2.85). However, the two estimates did not differ significantly from one another. Juvenile disorders (ages 11–15), experienced by 35% of the sample, independent of childhood maltreatment, were associated significantly with the risk of PTSD response to adult trauma (OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.32–4.18).
Severe maltreatment is associated with risk of PTSD response to adult trauma, compared to no maltreatment, and juvenile disorders, independent of earlier maltreatment, are associated with that risk. The role of moderate maltreatment remains unresolved. Larger longitudinal studies are needed to assess the impact of moderate maltreatment, experienced by the majority of adult trauma victims with a history of maltreatment.
A potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of mammary function in the dairy cow is emerging. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in genome function that occur because of chemical changes rather than DNA sequence changes. DNA methylation is an epigenetic event that results in the silencing of gene expression and may be passed on to the next generation. However, recent studies investigating different physiological states and changes in milk protein gene expression suggest that DNA methylation may also play an acute, regulatory, role in gene transcription. This overview will highlight the role of DNA methylation in the silencing of milk protein gene expression during mastitis and mammary involution. Moreover, environmental factors such as nutrition may induce epigenetic modifications of gene expression. The current research investigating the possibility of in utero, hence cross-generational, epigenetic modifications in dairy cows will also be discussed. Understanding how the mammary gland responds to environmental cues provides a potential to enhance milk production not only of the dairy cow but also of her daughter.
Fish proteins have been reported to be more satiating than meat proteins. The objective was to determine the effect of different animal protein pre-meals on satiety. A total of ten intact female hounds were fed pork loin, beef loin, chicken breast, salmon fillet or pollock fillet. Each pre-meal was fed to contain 100 g protein. Blood was collected at 0, 5, 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min postprandially and analysed for glucose, insulin, total ghrelin, active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and plasma amino acids (AA). Dogs were fed 2 × metabolisable energy, 3 h following the pre-meal, and intake was determined 30, 60, 180 and 1440 min after food presentation. Glucose decreased over time (P < 0·001), but was lowest (P = 0·01) when dogs consumed pollock or chicken. Insulin increased (P < 0·0001) over time, and was greater (P = 0·09) when dogs consumed salmon. GLP-1 increased (P < 0·001) over time, and was greatest (P = 0·04) when dogs consumed beef. Ghrelin decreased (P < 0·0001) over time for all pre-meals. The tryptophan:large neutral AA ratio tended to be greater (P = 0·08) when dogs consumed pork, salmon and pollock. Different protein sources may influence blood markers in dogs, but it does not appear that fish substrates have different satiating abilities than mammalian or avian sources.
The objective of the present study was to measure the differences in body composition, adipose tissue gene expression, blood metabolite and hormone concentrations, and insulin sensitivity in kittens exposed to high-protein (HP) or high-carbohydrate (HC) nutrition in utero and through the growth period. Eight dams were randomised onto two test diets, and fed the diets throughout gestation and lactation. Male offspring were evaluated for 9 months. Kittens were weaned at 2 months of age onto the same treatment diet as the dam and were allowed to consume diets ad libitum. The HC diet contained 34·3 % crude protein (CP), 19·2 % fat and 30·8 % digestible carbohydrate, while the HP diet contained 52·9 % CP, 23·5 % fat and 10·8 % digestible carbohydrate. Blood samples were collected at 6 months after birth. Body composition was determined at 2 and 8 months of age and an intravenous glucose tolerance test, neutering and adipose tissue biopsy conducted at 8 months of age. Physical activity was quantified at 6 and 9 months. Energy intake, DM intake and body weight were not different between groups. At 2 months, blood TAG were greater (P < 0·05) in kittens fed the HP diet. At 8 months, blood leptin was higher (P < 0·05) in kittens fed the HC diet, while chemokine receptor 5, hormone-sensitive lipase, uncoupling protein 2, leptin and insulin receptor mRNA were greater (P < 0·05) in kittens fed the HP diet. The present results demonstrate some of the changes in blood metabolites and hormones, physical activity and mRNA abundance that occur with feeding high protein levels to kittens.
We report here a procedure for the functioalization of SiO2-coated, SiONx waveguides for biological assays. Surface functionalization occurs by self-assembly of an amine-terminated silane monolayer on the waveguide, followed by partial chemical modification with functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG) groups. Functionalized surfaces were characterized by atomic force microscopy and contact angle measurements. When combined with a BSA blocking step, these functional PEG surfaces significantly reduced non-specific binding and allowed for specific binding to occur. An antibody sandwich assay for detection of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen was used to validate these surfaces for sensing applications.
The efficiency of part lactation test day (TD) records in first parity for the genetic evaluation of bulls and cows using a random regression model (RRM) and a fixed regression model (FRM) was studied, modelling the random and fixed lactation curves by Legendre polynomials. The data set consisted of 9 242 783 TD records for first lactation milk yield of 1 134 042 Holstein Friesian heifers. The efficiency of both models with part lactation TD records was examined by comparing predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for 305-day milk yield for 114 bulls and their 4697 daughters, from analyses where the maximum number of TD records of these daughters was restricted to the initial 2, 4 or 6 TDs with those estimated from 10 TDs. The correlations of PTAs estimated from 2, 4 or 6 TDs with those from 10 TDs computed for cows and bulls within each model were very similar. A rank correlation of 0·91 (0·92 FRM) was obtained for cows between PTAs based on 2 TDs and those from 10 TDs. The correlation increased to 0·96 with 4 TDs and 0·98 with 6 TDs. For bulls, correlations between PTAs estimated from 4 or 6 TDs with those estimated from 10 TDs were high at 0·98 and 0·99 respectively. With 2 TDs, the correlation was 0·95. The average under-prediction of PTAs with 2, 4 or 6 TDs relative to 10 TDs was generally higher and more variable with a FRM compared with a RRM for highly persistent cows and bulls. A similar trend was observed for mean over-prediction of PTAs, except for the initial predictions based on 2 TDs when the RRM gave a higher mean over-prediction for bulls and their daughters with low persistency but high initial TD records. The range of over and under-predictions were large (up to 200 kg milk) for some bulls when only 2 TDs were included in both models. A moderate correlation of 0·64 was obtained between persistency evaluations estimated from 10 TDs with those estimated from 2 TDs. The correlation increased to 0·71 with 4 TDs included and 0·85 with 6 TDs. The moderately high correlation between 6 TDs and 10 TDs of 0·85 was unexpected given the high correlation of 0·99 between PTAs for yield estimated from 6TDs with those estimated from 10 TDs.