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Piglet survival is based on a complex interaction between the piglets own genetic component (direct genetic effects), the dams genetic contribution (maternal genetic effects) and environmental effects (systematic environmental such as year-season, common litter and individual environmental effects). Disentanglement of direct and maternal genetic effects needs a powerful design of genetic relationships. In order to accomplish this, a two generation selection experiment was designed with different selection groups for direct and maternal effects and cross-classification of these selection groups. Survival at birth and survival during the nursing period may have genetically independent components and would then be treated as different traits. In addition, piglet survival traits are reported to have low direct and maternal heritabilities and traits genetically associated with survival, such as birth weight, may result in a more efficient change in survival than using survival per se. Therefore, the objective of the research was to estimate the genetic parameters of direct and maternal genetic effects of survival and birth weight in order to enhance the selection strategies for piglet survival.
Recent estimates of total pre-weaning piglet mortality range between 16-19% (MLC 2006). With environmental modification using the farrowing crate reaching its potential to decrease mortality, as well as raising serious welfare concerns, a different approach to effectively address piglet survival is needed. Genetic breeding programmes implemented in alternative farrowing systems could prove a viable option.
Pre-weaning mortality (11.9% as estimated by M.L.C., 2000) continues to be a major economic and welfare problem in commercial indoor pig production. The main causes of mortality are crushing by the sow and low viability/starvation. Both of these causes of death may be as a result of increasing sow body size and smaller piglet body size as a result of intense genetic selection for increasing litter size. However it is unclear whether sows are consistent across parities in their level of pre-weaning mortality. Therefore this study aimed to examine individual differences in piglet mortality of sows throughout their reproductive life, investigate factors likely to affect piglet mortality, and to assess whether piglet mortality may be a candidate trait for genetic selection.
A deep-ice temperature measurement program has been conducted on Trapridge Glacier, Yukon Territory. Large regions of temperate ice are predicted at the base of the otherwise cold glacier, The glacier snout, frozen to bedrock, appears to act as an ice dam allowing the build up of an ice reservoir in the upper regions. Thermal regulation of the surges of Trapridge Glacier is suggested and the relevance of basal temperatures in large surging glaciers is discussed.
Ice temperature measurements have been made in Steele Glacier to a depth of 114 m. All measured temperatures were below 0° C, the coldest being –6.5° C at a depth of 114 m. The temperature profile indicates an anomalously warm layer of ice between 30 m and 50 m, which is probably due to the freezing of water in crevasses opened during the 1965–66 surge. A two-dimensional model of a cold glacier with partially water-filled crevasses predicts temperature profiles very similar to that observed.
As part of a program to study surge-type glaciers, a radar-depth survey, using a frequency of 620 MHz, has been made of Trapridge Glacier, Yukon Territory. Soundings were taken at 26 locations on the glacier surface and a maximum ice thickness of 143 m was measured. A rapid change in surface slope in the lower ablation region marks the boundary between active and stagnant ice and is suggestive of an “ice dam” or the water “collection zone” postulated by Robin and Weertman for surging glaciers.
The UK has seen a significant transition from Defined Benefit (“DB”) to Defined Contribution (“DC”) for occupational pension saving. The planned automatic enrolment program starting in 2012 is expected to increase the use of DC. The main features of DC are that investment risk falls onto the individual during the pre-retirement phase and that there are no guarantees as to investment returns or the level of pension. In July 2012, Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, challenged industry to think hard about meeting the need for more certainty about pension savings in DC plans and to consider providing an affordable ‘Money Safe’ guarantee where the member would get back at least the nominal value of their contributions (individual, employer and tax relief). This paper explores whether this is viable for the mass market.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
Ultra-fast pulsed laser deposition using high-repetition-rate short-pulse lasers has been shown to provide high optical quality, super smooth thin films free of scattering centres. The optimized process conditions require short ps or sub-ps pulses with repetition rate in the range 1-100 MHz, depending on the target material. Ultra-fast pulsed laser deposition was used to successfully deposit atomically-smooth, 5micron thick As2S3 films. The as-deposited films were photosensitive at wavelengths close to the band edge (≈520 nm) and waveguides could be directly patterned into them by photo-darkening using an Argon ion or frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser. The linear and nonlinear optical properties of the films were measured as well as the photosensitivity of the material. The optical losses in photo-darkened waveguides were <0.2 dB/cm at wavelengths beyond 1200nm and <0.1 dB/cm in as-deposited films. The third order nonlinearity, n2,As2S3, was measured using both four-wave mixing and the z-scan technique and varied with wavelength from 100 to 200 times fused silica (n2,Silica ≈3×10-16 cm2/W) between 1500nm and 1100nm with low nonlinear absorption.
Encouraged by the Ultrafast laser deposition results, we have built a new specialized modelocked picosecond laser system for deposition of optical films and for laser formation of nanoclusters. The newly developed “state of the art” powerful Nd:YVO laser can operate over a wide range of wavelengths, intensities, and repetition rates in MHz range. A brief description of the 50W laser installation is presented.
Peri- and postnatal mortality of piglets is reported to be around 20% and genetic improvement in piglet survival has great potential benefits in terms of animal welfare, economics and the environment. The indication of an unfavourable genetic correlation between litter size and survival in particular points to the importance of including piglet survival in those pig breeding programmes that currently only aim to increase litter size. Phenotypically, individual birth weight is closely associated with piglet survival (Roehe and Kalm, 2000). Genetic parameters for piglet survival traits and individual birth weight therefore need to be estimated in order to genetically improve piglet survival efficiency
The current estimate of live-born piglet pre-weaning mortality in UK outdoor systems is 11% (MLC, 2006), representing a major welfare and economic concern. The majority of deaths occur in the first few days of life when the piglets are at their most vulnerable. Selecting for high survival in piglets, may allow breeding of animals better able to survive and better suited to alternative and less restrictive systems than the farrowing crate. The aim was to develop and measure behavioural and physiological indicators of neonatal survival, and to determine treatment effects in populations of piglets selected for high survival and control lines farrowing in an outdoor system.
We describe a quantitative and comparative review of a selection of European birthweight standards for gestational age for singletons, to enable appropriate choices to be made for clinical and research use. Differences between median values at term across standards in 10 regions and misclassification of ‘small for gestational age’ (SGA), were studied. Sex and parity differences, exclusion criteria, and methods of construction were considered. There was wide variation between countries in exclusion criteria, methods of calculating standards, and median birthweight at term. The lightest standards (e.g. France's medians are 255g lower than Norway's medians) were associated with fewer exclusion criteria. Up to 20% of the population used in the construction of the Scottish standard would be classified as SGA using the Norwegian standard. Substantial misclassification of SGA is possible. Assumptions about variation used in the construction of some standards were not justified. It is not possible to conclude that there are real differences in birthweight standards between European countries. Country-based standards control for some population features but add misclassification due to the differing ways in which standards are derived. Standards should be chosen to reflect clinical or research need. If standards stratified by sex or parity are not available, adjustments should be made. In multinational studies, comparisons should be made between results using both a common standard and country-based standards.
Of 33,111 patients admitted to a large hospital in Vietnam from November 2000 through July 2001, a total of 303 were undergoing hemodialysis and had pyrogenic reactions (ie, fever and/or rigors). Ten case patients (3.3%) had documented bacteremia; pathogens were largely waterborne microorganisms. Pyrogenic reactions in case patients might have occurred because of suboptimal water quality or inadequate dialyzer reprocessing procedures.