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An enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) has been developed to detect serum Immunoglobulin antibodies G and M to Treponema hyodysenteriae in vaccinated, experimentally infected and naturally infected swine. Naturally infected swine gave ELISA titres that were similar to experimentally infected swine, but were significantly less than the titres of vaccinated swine. When serum from naturally infected swine was used to probe nitrocellulose blots of sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresed whole cell proteins of T. hyodysenteriae, the immunoblotting patterns showed IgG antibodies were produced against many T. hyodysenteriae protein antigens and against lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The IgG antibodies directed against LPS were serotype-specific for that LPS and could be used to identify the serotype involved in the T. hyodysenteriae infection in that herd. IgM immunoblots also reacted with the many protein antigens but were less specific for LPS antigen, with a substantial degree of crossreaction between the LPS of all serotypes.
The data demonstrate that a microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, coupled with immunoblotting, is a very specific and sensitive test for detection of antibody to Treponema hyodysenteriae in swine.
Associations between animal behaviour and emissions of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) have been noted in studies of grazing cattle (Lockyer, 1997) and feedlot confined cattle (Harper et al., 1999, Flesch et al., 2007). Methane emissions have been predicted as being greatest during bouts of rumination (Harper et al., 1999) whereas the emissions of the indirect greenhouse gas ammonia tends to be low early in the morning but increasing rapidly in the early afternoon after which a rapid decline until sunset (Flesch et al., 2007). With the exception of Harper et al., (1999) there are few complete data sets that examine the interaction between animal behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions from intensive animal production systems. The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between animal behaviour and emissions of CH4 and NH3 in a beef feedlot system in northern Australia.
Feedlot management systems for beef cattle are becoming a more common practice in Australia reflecting opportunities to ensure quality of product whilst maintaining cost efficiencies within production. However, feedlot systems have been identified as point sources of greenhouse gases emissions (GGE: methane, nitrous oxide and the indirect greenhouse gas ammonia). It has been estimated that feedlot systems contribute 3.5% of total direct methane emissions (Alford et al. 2006), and 30% of total emissions from livestock wastes. Furthermore, approximately 1% of total N2O emissions from agriculture are attributed to livestock. This paper reports methane, N2O and NH3 emissions from an Australian feedlot system managed under summer climatic conditions. It compares actual measured emissions with estimated from three recognised models used by national governments to estimate total GGE per annum from livestock agriculture.
The present study involved a comparative analysis of the effects of purified flaxseed lignans, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) and its aglycone metabolite (SECO), in hyperlipidaemic rats. For hypercholesterolaemia, female Wistars (six rats per group) were fed a standard or 1 % cholesterol diet and orally administered 0, 3 or 6 mg SDG/kg or 0, 1·6 or 3·2 mg SECO/kg body weight once daily for 4 weeks. Hypertriacylglycerolaemia was induced in male Sprague–Dawley rats (ten rats per group) by supplementing tap water with 10 % fructose. These rats were orally administered 0, 3 or 6 mg SDG/kg body weight once daily for 2 weeks. Fasting blood samples (12 h) were collected predose and at the end of the dosing period for serum lipid analyses. Rats were killed and livers rapidly excised and sectioned for lipid, mRNA and histological analyses. Chronic administration of equimolar amounts of SDG and SECO caused similar dose-dependent reductions in rate of body-weight gain and in serum total and LDL-cholesterol levels and hepatic lipid accumulation. SDG and SECO failed to alter hepatic gene expression of commonly reported regulatory targets of lipid homeostasis. SDG had no effect on serum TAG, NEFA, phospholipids and rate of weight gain in 10 % fructose-supplemented rats. In conclusion, our data suggest that the lignan component of flaxseed contributes to the hypocholesterolaemic effects of flaxseed consumption observed in humans. Future studies plan to identify the biochemical mechanism(s) through which flaxseed lignans exert their beneficial effects and the lignan form(s) responsible.
In 2004 the chicken genome sequence and more than 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were reported. This information greatly enhanced the ability of poultry scientists to understand chicken biology, especially with respect to identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and genes that control simple and complex traits. To validate and address the quality of the reported SNPs, assays for 3072 SNPS were developed and used to genotype 2576 DNAs isolated from commercial and experimental birds. Over 90% of the SNPs were valid based on the criterion used for segregating, and over 88% had a minor allele frequency of 2% or greater. As the East Lansing (EL) and Wageningen University (WAU) reference panels were genotyped, 1933 SNPs were added to the chicken genetic map, which was used in the second chicken genome sequence assembly. It was also discovered that linkage disequilibrium varied considerably between commercial layers and broilers; with the latter having haplotype blocks averaging 10 to 50 kb in size. Finally, it was estimated that commercial lines have lost 70% or more of their genetic diversity, with the majority of allele loss attributable to the limited number of chicken breeds used.
Little is known about the aetiology of brain tumours. One putative factor suggested from animal models is a protective effect of dietary Zn. We tested the hypothesis that increased compared with low dietary Zn intake is protective against brain tumour development. We conducted a population-based case–control study in the UK, of adults aged 18–69 years, between 2001 and 2004 aiming to identify possible risk factors. Dietary information was collected from 637 cases diagnosed with a glioma or meningioma, and 876 controls. Data were obtained from a self-completed FFQ. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted, adjusting for socio-demographic factors, season of questionnaire return, multivitamin supplementation and energy intake. Although a weak protective effect was observed for the third quartile of intake (normal compared with low intake) in the meningioma group, this was limited to the specific brain tumour subtype and quartile, and was not significant after also adjusting for intake of other elements. Overall there was no significant effect of Zn intake. No association or dose–response relationship was observed between increased compared with low Zn intake and risk of glioma or meningioma.
This paper was written by the Derivatives Working Party, a permanent working party of the Life Research Committee of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Our aim is to consider how life assurers may use, or may wish to use, derivatives, and if their use is unduly constrained, e.g. by regulation. This paper focuses on credit derivatives. We provide an overview of the credit derivatives market, and the strong growth in this market over recent years. We then focus on the two main traded credit derivative instruments — Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) and Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs). We explain how these instruments work and are priced, and clarify some of the more complex topics involved, such as the settlement of CDSs, basis risk and the relevance of implied correlation in pricing CDOs. We then consider how life insurers could make use of credit derivatives, for example to provide more efficient investment management in taking exposure to credit risk, or to hedge credit exposures, and consider the regulatory implications of so doing. Finally, in the Appendix, we discuss the credit spread puzzle, and the existence or otherwise of a liquidity premium in corporate bond spreads, with implications for the valuation of illiquid liabilities.
The search for susceptibility genes for schizophrenia and severe affective disorder has been enhanced by the study of cytogenetic abnormalities that disrupt genes directly. One such gene is DISCI and there is increasing evidence that it may be an important modulator of risk of psychosis.
Lichens were cultured by attaching a thallus fragment to a nylon monofilament loop with silicone sealer. Two effective methods for adjusting lichen mass to a standard moisture content were developed (the ‘reference-sample’ and ‘sacrificial’ methods). These corrections for moisture content allow detection of very small changes in dry mass without having to oven dry (and kill) all transplants. Average annual biomass growth rates for non-fragmenting species were typically between 5 and 30%. Annual biomass growth rates of healthy, vigorous individuals, as indicated by the 75th percentile, were mostly between 10 and 40%. Alectoria sarmentosa was prone to fragmentation despite the maintenance of healthy thalli. The other species can be ranked by biomass growth rates as follows: Evernia prunastri> Lobaria pulmonaria=Usnea longissima> Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis=Lobaria oregano.
Artificially reared sambar (tropical) deer and red (temperate) deer were confined indoors in metabolism cages and fed chaffed lucerne hay ad libitum for 4-week periods during summer and winter at Flock House Agricultural Centre, New Zealand, during 1992. Measurements were made of voluntary feed intake (VFI), apparent digestibility, faeces particle size distribution, eating and ruminating time and the rate of chewing during eating and ruminating. Red deer reduced VFI (kg DMI/day) markedly from summer to winter, associated with a reduction in the duration of each eating bout. Sambar deer slightly increased VFI over this time, associated with an increase in chewing frequency. Digestive efficiency was similar in both species, and the critical particle size for leaving the rumen was passage through a 1 mm sieve for both species. Time spent eating/g DMI was greater for sambar deer than for red deer during summer, but there was no difference during winter. Relative to red deer, sambar deer consistently spent more time ruminating/g DMI, and spent a greater proportion of total ruminating time as daytime ruminating and had more daytime ruminating bouts. Duration of each ruminating bout (min) was similar for the two deer species, but sambar deer had less chews/bolus ruminated but more rumination boli/h than red deer. Differences between sambar deer and red deer were more pronounced in ruminating than in eating behaviour, and sambar deer may have evolved a different rumination pattern to break down low-quality tropical forages more effectively.