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Exposure to prenatal hypoxia in rats leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), decreases fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and increases the risk to develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) later in life. The tumor necrosis factor-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) induces cardiomyocyte proliferation through activation of the fibroblast growth factor-inducible molecule 14 (Fn-14) receptor. The TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway becomes quiescent shortly after birth, however, it becomes upregulated with CVD; suggesting that it could be a link between the increased susceptibility to CVD in pregnancies complicated by hypoxia/IUGR. We hypothesized that offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia will exhibit reduced cardiomyocyte proliferation due to reduced Fn-14 expression and that the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway will be expressed in those adult offspring. We exposed pregnant Sprague Dawley rats to control (21% oxygen) or hypoxic (11% oxygen) conditions from gestational days 15 to 21. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from male and female, control and hypoxic offspring at postnatal day 1. Proliferation was assessed in the presence or absence of r-TWEAK (72 h, 100 ng/ml). Prenatal hypoxia was not associated with differences in Fn-14 protein expression in either male or female offspring. Cardiomyocytes from prenatal hypoxic male, but not female, offspring had decreased proliferation compared with controls. Addition of r-TWEAK increased cardiomyocyte proliferation in all offspring. In adult offspring of all groups, the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway was not detectable. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was reduced in only male offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia but this was not due to changes in the Fn-14 pathway. Studies addressing other pathways associated with CVD and prenatal hypoxia are needed.
In Africa, the animal trypanosomiases kill about 3 million cattle each year with related annual losses in animal productivity of ∼£3 billion. 32 of the 36 affected countries have per capita incomes of less than US$1 per day. The most effective method of combating the trypanosomiases is to eradicate their vectors, the tsetse. Up to the early 1980s, responsibility for vector control in Africa was largely taken by government agencies, using techniques such as large-scale aerial and ground spraying. Following economic crises, structural adjustment and decline or privatisation of veterinary services, much of the onus for controlling tsetse has fallen on livestock keepers themselves (Eisler et al. 2003), but partly as a consequence of trypanosomiasis, many are too poor to afford the cost. Treating cattle with synthetic pyrethroids may provide a way of breaking this cycle of poverty and disease.
Ridgway’s Hawk Buteo ridgwayi is a Critically Endangered forest raptor endemic to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The species is currently limited to a small area on the north-east coast of the island, with fewer than 110 pairs remaining. From 2005 to 2009 we studied its breeding ecology, finding that Ridgway’s Hawks have a clutch size (2.0 ± 0.4 eggs) similar to other tropical raptors and island Buteo species. Fledging rate of 0.64 fledglings per active nest (fledgling nest-1) with pairs raising a single brood per year was also similar to that of other tropical Buteo species. Nest success was 40% (n = 151), with the majority of nest failures caused by human disturbance. The two significant predictors of nest success and fledging rate were related to human persecution: nest height and territory disturbance index. Pairs were able to tolerate human activity in their territory if there was no direct disturbance to the immediate nest area. Conservation planning for Ridgway’s Hawk must focus on community awareness programmes targeting local user groups within Los Haitises National Park regarding the uniqueness and endangered status of the hawk, and effective protection of the remaining karst forest in Los Haitises.
There has been a long history of herd health and production management programmes in many dairy industries around the world, but evidence for the efficacy of such programmes is limited. In response to a perceived decline in fertility of dairy cows, a herd reproductive management programme (InCalf) was introduced in New Zealand in 2007. This programme uses a management cycle approach that includes an assessment of the current herd status, identification of areas for improvement, development of a plan, implementation of this plan and finally a review process. The programme uses facilitators who work with farmers either in a one-to-one manner or in a formalised group setting that involves a series of meetings over a 12-month period (the farmer action group). The hypothesis that involvement in a reproductive management programme would improve herd reproductive performance was tested using a herd-level controlled randomised study (the National Herd Fertility Study) involving herds in four geographic regions of New Zealand over 2 years. Within each region, herds were ranked on the basis of the 6-week in-calf rate (i.e. the proportion of the herd pregnant in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal breeding programme) in the year preceding commencement of the study and then randomly assigned to be involved in a farmer action group or left as untreated controls. The key outcome variable of the study was the 6-week in-calf rate. Pregnancy diagnosis was undertaken at 12 weeks after the start of the seasonal breeding programme, which allowed determination of conception dates and hence calculation of the 6-week in-calf rate. Additional measurements including heifer live weight and body condition score (pre-calving and pre-mating) were undertaken to test whether treatment resulted in measurable changes in some of the key determinants of herd reproductive performance. Involvement in the farmer action group of InCalf resulted in a 2 percentage point increase in the 6-week in-calf rate (P=0.05). The following additional observations were made in herds involved in the farmer action group relative to control herds: heifers had live weight closer to target; the pre-mating body condition score of cows was higher; and oestrous detection rates were higher. It was concluded that involvement in this herd reproductive management programme improved reproductive outcomes in this New Zealand study. However, to achieve substantial improvements in herd reproductive performance at the regional or national level a greater response to the programme and a high uptake of such programmes is required, as well as use of other industry-level tools such as genetic management programmes.
Patterns of social organization and mating systems have been shown to be functions of ecological factors such as resource allocation and breeding density. In some species, particularly birds, social organization and genetic mating systems differ with molecular studies providing evidence of extra-pair young frequently occurring within broods of socially monogamous species. Here we examine the social and genetic mating system of an ecologically little-known forest raptor endemic to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. From 2005–2009, our field observations of over 60 breeding pairs verified a social mating system of monogamy for the species. During the same time period, we collected blood samples (n = 146 birds, 48 nests) and used microsatellite profiles from 10 loci to estimate genetic relatedness among nestlings in a brood and assign putative fathers. We found no evidence of extra-pair paternity in 41 broods. We had one instance where a social male was not assigned as the putative father, however, the confidence level of this assignment was not significant since the genotypes of the social and assigned males were very similar. Our results support our hypothesis that genetic monogamy would be exhibited by Ridgway's hawk, an island-endemic tropical raptor.
I must admit that, after more than a decade of teaching and researching political parties, I found being selected to and participating in the 1980 Democratic National Convention an exhiliarating experience.
The Alabama delegate-selection process was a very competitive primary with extensive activity by the Carter and Kennedy organizations and by the individual delegate candidates. In varying degrees, the delegate candidates stumped their constituencies with personal appearances, letters, rallies, sample ballots, newspaper ads, group endorsements, and assorted other campaign gimmicks.
The selection process consisted primarily of a statewide primary (1) to allocate Alabama's delegates and alternate delegates among the presidential candidates, and (2) to elect the members of that delegation. Over 500 candidates ran for the 45 delegate and 32 alternate delegate positions in that primary. The primary actually was conducted by congressional district, with 33 candidates running for four delegate and three alternate delegate positions in my CD. The ballot was structured by sex (females listed first) and the voter was instructed to vote for up to four females and up to four males. Delegates were allocated to presidential candidates according to a formula which was roughly proportional; and individual delegates were selected by an equally fair but more complex formula.
Ion beam synthesis of CoSi2 layers in Si by MEVVA (Metal Vapor Vacuum Arc) implantation has been performed under various conditions. The formation and characteristics of these CoSi2 layers have been studied by XTEM, RBS, AFM, X-ray diffraction, ellipsometry, electrical and Hall effect measurements. It was found that a higher substrate temperature during implantation results in an as-implanted Co distribution closer to the surface and hence the formation of a shallower CoSi2 layer after annealing. Buried CoSi2 layers of good crystal quality and low resistivity CoSi2 can be formed by MEVVA implantation and annealing under appropriate conditions. A strong temperature dependence of the Hall coefficient showing a large peak at around 100K was observed for the CoSi2 layers formed in p-type Si substrates but not in n-type substrates. The properties and their dependence on the processing conditions, in particular, the substrate temperature during implantation, are presented and discussed.
A life-course approach to reduction of risk of non-communicable diseases (NCD) suggests that early-life interventions may be more effective than lifestyle modifications in middle age. Knowledge translation to develop understanding of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) within the community offers the potential to encourage informed diet and lifestyle choices supporting reduction of NCD risk in current and future generations. Many women do not make sustained dietary change before or during pregnancy, therefore appropriate nutritional behaviours need to be established prior to adulthood. This makes adolescence an appropriate stage for interventions to establish suitable dietary and lifestyle behaviours. Therefore, we engaged adolescents in a school-based educational intervention, and assessed the value of this in development of understanding of DOHaD concepts to support behaviour change that could lead to NCD risk reduction in the next generation. Modules of course work were written for 11–14 year olds and trialled in nine schools. Matched pre- and post-intervention questionnaire responses from 238 students and 99 parents, and post-intervention interviews evaluated the intervention. Understanding of a link between maternal diet during pregnancy and the health of the foetus in adulthood increased from 46% to 76% following intervention. Post-intervention evidence suggests the programme facilitated discussion of diet, lifestyle and DOHaD concepts in most families. The intervention was effective in improving understanding of DOHaD concepts and in some cases led to appropriate behaviour change. However, the sustainability of these changes remains to be determined through on-going evaluation of attitudes and behaviour within this cohort.
The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is known to begin before birth and the impact of the intrauterine environment on subsequent adult health is currently being investigated from many quarters. Following our studies demonstrating the impact of hypoxia in utero and consequent intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) on the rat cardiovascular system, we hypothesized that changes extend throughout the vasculature and alter function of the renal artery. In addition, we hypothesized that hypoxia induces renal senescence as a potential mediator of altered vascular function. We demonstrated that IUGR females had decreased responses to the adrenergic agonist phenylephrine (PE; pEC50 6.50 ± 0.05 control v. 6.17 ± 0.09 IUGR, P < 0.05) and the endothelium-dependent vasodilator methylcholine (MCh; Emax 89.8 ± 7.0% control v. 41.0 ± 6.5% IUGR, P < 0.001). In IUGR females, this was characterised by increased basal nitric oxide (NO) modulation of vasoconstriction (PE pEC50 6.17 ± 0.09 IUGR v. 6.42 ± 0.08 in the presence of the NO synthase inhibitor N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME; P < 0.01) but decreased activated NO modulation (no change in MCh responses in the presence of l-NAME), respectively. In contrast, IUGR males had no changes in PE or MCh responses but demonstrated increased basal NO (PE pEC50 6.29 ± 0.06 IUGR v. 6.42 ± 0.12 plus l-NAME, P < 0.01) and activated NO (Emax 37.8 ± 9.4% control v. −0.8 ± 13.0% plus l-NAME, P < 0.05) modulation. No significant changes were found in gross kidney morphology, proteinuria or markers of cellular senescence in either sex. In summary, renal vascular function was altered by hypoxia in utero in a sex-dependent manner but was unlikely to be mediated by premature renal senescence.
We have previously shown that adult rat offspring born intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) as a result of a prenatal hypoxic insult exhibit several cardiovascular characteristics that are compatible with common manifestations of chronic iron toxicity. As hypoxia is one of the major regulators of iron absorption and metabolism, we hypothesized that hypoxia-induced IUGR offspring will have long-term changes in their ability to regulate iron metabolism leading to myocardial iron deposition and induction of myocardial oxidative stress. Pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to control (n = 8) or maternal hypoxia (11.5% oxygen; n = 8) during the last 6 days of pregnancy. At birth, litters were reduced to eight pups (four male and four female). At 4 or 12 months of age, offspring were euthanatized and samples (blood and myocardium) were collected. In only the male offspring, IUGR and aging were associated with an increase in myocardial markers of oxidative stress such as oxidized/reduced glutathione ratio and malondialdehyde. Aged male IUGR offspring also exhibited interstitial myocardial remodeling characterized by myocyte loss and disrupted extracellular matrix.Contrary to our hypothesis, however, neither IUGR nor aging were associated with changes in any systemic or local markers of iron metabolism. Our results suggest that hypoxic insults leading to IUGR produce long-term effects on the levels of oxidative stress and connective tissue distribution in the myocardium of male but not female offspring.
A low-carbohydrate, high-protein (LCHP) diet is often recommended for the prevention and management of diabetes in cats; however, the effect of macronutrient composition on insulin sensitivity and energetic efficiency for weight gain is not known. The present study compared the effect in adult cats (n 32) of feeding a LCHP (23 and 47 % metabolisable energy (ME)) and a high-carbohydrate, low-protein (HCLP) diet (51 and 21 % ME) on fasting and postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations, and on insulin sensitivity. Tests were done in the 4th week of maintenance feeding and after 8 weeks of ad libitum feeding, when weight gain and energetic efficiency of each diet were also measured. When fed at maintenance energy, the HCLP diet resulted in higher postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations. When fed ad libitum, the LCHP diet resulted in greater weight gain (P < 0·01), and was associated with higher energetic efficiency. Overweight cats eating the LCHP diet had similar postprandial glucose concentrations to lean cats eating the HCLP diet. Insulin sensitivity was not different between the diets when cats were lean or overweight, but glucose effectiveness was higher after weight gain in cats fed the HCLP diet. According to the present results, LCHP diets fed at maintenance requirements might benefit cats with multiple risk factors for developing diabetes. However, ad libitum feeding of LCHP diets is not recommended as they have higher energetic efficiency and result in greater weight gain.
Fano Effect measurements are the key to direct observation of the Kondo or spin shielding intrinsic to models of electron correlation. The Fano Effect is the observation of spin polarized photoelectron emission from NONMAGNETIC materials, under chirally selective excitation, such as circularly polarized photons. Below are described three spectrometers, with which Fano Effects measurements have been made.
The standard method to determine the band structure of a condensed phase material is to (1) obtain a single crystal with a well defined surface and (2) map the bands with angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (occupied or valence bands) and inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (unoccupied or conduction bands). Unfortunately, in the case of Pu, the single crystals of Pu are either nonexistent, very small and/or having poorly defined surfaces. Furthermore, effects such as electron correlation and a large spin-orbit splitting in the 5f states have further complicated the situation. Thus, we have embarked upon the utilization of unorthodox electron spectroscopies, to circumvent the problems caused by the absence of large single crystals of Pu with well-defined surfaces. Our approach includes the techniques of resonant photoelectron spectroscopy , x-ray absorption spectroscopy [1,2,3,4], electron energy loss spectroscopy [2,3,4], Fano Effect measurements , and Bremstrahlung Isochromat Spectroscopy , including the utilization of micro-focused beams to probe single-crystallite regions of polycrystalline Pu samples. [2,3,6]
Shallow contact metallization of SiGeC was studied in anticipation of this alloys use in low power applications. It has been shown that in the solid state reaction of Co on (100) Si, that Co is the moving species with proper annealing conditions. This prevents the formation of Kirkendal voiding in certain device structures. This work studies the Co and Ti metallization of SiGeC. A bilayer of 44 nm of Co on 7 nm of Ti, were electron beam evaporated onto epitaxially grown Si0.77Ge0.21C0.02. The samples were rapid thermal processed at 600 and 900 °C for up to two minutes in a nitrogen ambient. The analysis techniques used were Rutherford backscattering spectrometry which included the used of the 4.27 MeV 12C(α,α) 12C resonance reaction, glancing angle x-ray diffraction, During annealing at all temperatures, Co diffused through the Ti layer and formed CoSi. This phase was confirmed by x-ray diffraction. The Co displaced the Ti to the surface. At 600 °C, Ge diffused to the surface layer, while at 900 °C it was rejected back into the original SiGeC. The sample annealed at 600 °C was subsequently annealed at 900 °C. The Ge in the surface layer was rejected from the surface layer, diffused across the CoSi and back into the SiGeC.
Ion beam synthesis of CoSi2 layers in Si by NIEVVA (Metal Vapor Vacuum Arc) implantation has been performed under various conditions. The formation and characteristics of these CoSi2 layers have been studied by XTEM, RBS, AFM, X-ray diffraction, ellipsometry, electrical and Hall effect measurements. It was found that a higher substrate temperature during implantation results in an as-implanted Co distribution closer to the surface and hence the formation of a shallower CoSi2 layer after annealing. Buried CoSi2 layers of good crystal quality and low resistivity CoSi2 can be formed by MEVVA implantation and annealing under appropriate conditions. A strong temperature dependence of the Hall coefficient showing a large peak at around 100K was observed for the CoSi2 layers formed in p-type Si substrates but not in n-type substrates. The properties and their dependence on the processing conditions, in particular, the substrate temperature during implantation, are presented and discussed.