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Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) is a novel approach to pre-slaughter stunning of chickens using progressive hypobaric hypoxia by the application of gradual decompression (280s cycle) according to a set of prescribed pressure curves. Low atmospheric pressure stunning produces a non-recovery state. Concerns have been raised relating to the possible pathological and welfare consequences of expansion of air in the body during LAPS. In a randomised trial, we compared the gross pathology of broilers exposed to LAPS with a control group euthanised by intravenous injection of pentobarbital sodium (60 mixed sex broilers per treatment). The birds were exposed to each treatment in triplets and all birds were subject to necropsy examination to detect and score (1 to 5, minimal to severe) haemorrhagic lesions or congestion for all major organs and cavities (e.g. air sacs, joints, ears and heart) as well as external assessment for product quality (e.g. wing tips). Behavioural data (latency to loss of posture and motionless) and chamber cycle data (temperature, humidity, pressure and oxygen availability) confirmed that LAPS had been applied in a manner representative of the commercial process. All of the organs observed were structurally intact for both treatment groups. No lesions were observed in the external ears, oral cavity, tracheal lumen, crop and air sacs of birds from either treatment group. There was no difference between treatments in the wingtips, nasal turbinates, thymus, biceps femoralis and colon. Haemorrhagic lesions were observed in the calvaria, brains, hearts and lungs of both treatment groups, but lesions in these areas were more severe in the LAPS treatment group. It was not possible to distinguish between pathological changes induced by decompression or recompression. In the barbiturate group, more severe haemorrhagic lesions were observed in the superficial pectoral muscles as well as greater congestion of the infraorbital sinuses, liver, spleens, duodenum, kidneys and gonads. These findings provide evidence that LAPS did not result in distension of the intestines and air sacs sufficient to cause changes, which were grossly visible on postmortem examination. There was also no evidence of barotrauma in the ears and sinuses. The pathological changes observed in the barbiturate treatment were as expected based on barbiturate toxicity. Low atmospheric pressure stunning appears to produce pathological changes by a variety of well-established mechanisms, and while these pathological data have limited value as welfare indicators, the results confirm that organ integrity was not compromised by the process.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
We carried out simultaneous observations of H2O and OH masers, and radio continuum at 1.3 cm with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) towards 4 water-fountain candidates. Water fountains (WFs) are evolved stars, in the AGB and post-AGB phase, with collimated jets traced by high-velocity H2O masers. Up to now, only 15 sources have been confirmed as WFs through interferometric observations. We are interested in the discovery and study of new WFs. A higher number of these sources is important to understand their properties as a group, because they may represent one of the first manifestations of collimated mass-loss in evolved stars. These observations will provide information about the role of magnetic fields in the launching of jets in WFs. Our aim is to ascertain the WF nature of these candidates, and investigate the spatial distribution of the H2O and OH masers.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
The stellar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has been studied in the last decade and has been found to be an important factor to determine the habitability of planetary surfaces. It is known that UVR can be a constraint for life. However, most of the studies of UVR and habitability have missed some fundamental aspects: i) Accurate estimation of the planetary atmospheric attenuation, ii) The biological inferences used to represent the impact of the stellar UVR on life are theoretical and based on the action spectrum (for DNA or microorganisms) or considering parameters as the “lethal dose” obtained from non-astrobiological experiments. Therefore, the conclusions reached by previous studies about the UVR habitability of planetary bodies may be inaccurate. In this work, we propose how to address these studies in a more accurate way through an interdisciplinary approach that combines astrophysics, microbiology, and photobiology and by the use of specially designed laboratory experiments.
The use of natural clays for the removal of dyes from wastewater, an important part of environmental remediation, is desirable due, not least, to their low cost. Palygorskite (PAL), a rigid-structure clay, is a good candidate for use in the elimination of industrial effluents, based on its exceptional adsorptive properties. Recently, a new palygorskite deposit has been discovered in Cuba and its use in the adsorption of dyes has not yet been explored in detail. In the present study, the use of unmodified natural Cuban palygorskite as a host for dyes was evaluated. Congo red (CR) and methylene blue (MB) were the anionic and cationic dyes tested, respectively, because of their wide use and toxicity to the environment. Several physical-chemical parameters were studied in order to establish the best experimental conditions under which to achieve the greatest dye load per gram of clay. Natural mixtures with different percentages of montmorillonite were also tested to evaluate their effect on the adsorption of the dyes. The results indicated that at pH values of ~7–9 and an initial dye concentration of 0.1 mg mL–1, the process was efficient. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis proved the surface adsorption of both dyes on the clays. The main interactions involved in the clay-dye system were electrostatic forces and H-bonds. Adsorption of CR seemed to be controlled fundamentally by the palygorskite phase. Such results support the use of this natural clay as an efficient host for the removal of MB and CR from wastewater.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Multimorbidity is common but little is known about its relationship with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress Study participants underwent polysomnography. Chronic diseases (CDs) were determined by biomedical measurement (diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, obesity), or self-report (depression, asthma, cardiovascular disease, arthritis). Associations between CD count, multimorbidity, apnea-hyponea index (AHI) and OSA severity and quality-of-life (QoL; mental & physical component scores), were determined using multinomial regression analyses, after adjustment for age.
Of the 743 men participating in the study, overall 58% had multimorbidity (2+ CDs), and 52% had OSA (11% severe). About 70% of those with multimorbidity had undiagnosed OSA. Multimorbidity was associated with AHI and undiagnosed OSA. Elevated CD count was associated with higher AHI value and increased OSA severity.
We demonstrate an independent association between the presence of OSA and multimorbidity in this representative sample of community-based men. This effect was strongest in men with moderate to severe OSA and three or more CDs, and appeared to produce a greater reduction in QoL when both conditions were present together.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
The objective was to estimate (co)variance functions using random regression models (RRM) with Legendre polynomials, B-spline function and multi-trait models aimed at evaluating genetic parameters of growth traits in meat-type quail. A database containing the complete pedigree information of 7000 meat-type quail was utilized. The models included the fixed effects of contemporary group and generation. Direct additive genetic and permanent environmental effects, considered as random, were modeled using B-spline functions considering quadratic and cubic polynomials for each individual segment, and Legendre polynomials for age. Residual variances were grouped in four age classes. Direct additive genetic and permanent environmental effects were modeled using 2 to 4 segments and were modeled by Legendre polynomial with orders of fit ranging from 2 to 4. The model with quadratic B-spline adjustment, using four segments for direct additive genetic and permanent environmental effects, was the most appropriate and parsimonious to describe the covariance structure of the data. The RRM using Legendre polynomials presented an underestimation of the residual variance. Lesser heritability estimates were observed for multi-trait models in comparison with RRM for the evaluated ages. In general, the genetic correlations between measures of BW from hatching to 35 days of age decreased as the range between the evaluated ages increased. Genetic trend for BW was positive and significant along the selection generations. The genetic response to selection for BW in the evaluated ages presented greater values for RRM compared with multi-trait models. In summary, RRM using B-spline functions with four residual variance classes and segments were the best fit for genetic evaluation of growth traits in meat-type quail. In conclusion, RRM should be considered in genetic evaluation of breeding programs.
The appropriate supply of nutrients in pregnant cows has been associated with the optimal development of foetal tissues, performance of their progeny and their meat quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate supplementation effects of grazing cows in different stages of gestation on skeletal muscle development and performance of the progeny. Thereby, 27 Nellore cows were divided into three groups (n=9 for each group) and their progeny as follows: UNS, unsupplemented during gestation; MID, supplemented from 30 to 180 days of gestation; LATE, supplemented from 181 to 281 days of gestation. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the matrices was the following: ground corn (26.25%), wheat bran (26.25%) and soya bean meal (47.5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 30% CP. Supplemented matrices received 150 kg of supplement (1 and 1.5 kg/day for cows in the MID and LATE groups, respectively). After birth, a biopsy was performed to obtain samples of skeletal muscle tissue from calves to determine number and size of muscle fibres and for messenger RNA (mRNA) expression analysis. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the progeny was the following: ground corn grain (30%), wheat bran (30%), soya bean meal (35%) and molasses (5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 25% CP and offered in an amount of 6 g/kg BW. Performance of the progeny was monitored throughout the suckling period. Means were submitted to ANOVA and regression, and UNS, MID and LATE periods of supplementation were compared. Differences were considered at P<0.10. Birth weight, average daily gain and weaning weight of the offspring did not differ among treatments (P>0.10). Similarly, no differences were observed between calves for nutrient intake (P>0.10). However, greater subcutaneous fat thickness (P=0.006) was observed in the calves of LATE group. The ribeye area (P=0.077) was greater in calves born from supplemented compared with UNS cows. The supplementation of pregnant cows did not affect the muscle fibre size of their progeny (P=0.208). On the other hand, calves born from dams supplemented at mid-gestation had greater muscle fibre number (P=0.093) compared with calves from UNS group. Greater mRNA expression of peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor α (P=0.073) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (P=0.003) was observed in the calves born from MID cows. Although strategic supplementation did not affect the BW of offspring, it did cause changes in carcass traits, number of myofibres, and mRNA expression of a muscle hypertrophy and lipid oxidation markers in skeletal muscle of the offspring.
We describe occurrences of palladoan melonite in intimate intergrowths with
cobaltite-gersdorffite from the Neoproterozoic dunite-wehrlite-gabbro
complexes of Kingash and Kuskanak, Eastern Sayans, Russia. The observed
compositional trends of melonite are consistent with the overallvariations
examined on the basis of numerous literature sources. The levels of Bi in
NiTe2 are normally limited to ≤0.25 Bi atoms per formula unit
(apfu), under natural conditions. Greater levels (≤0.5 Bi apfu) are
associated with the (Pd + Pt) enrichment in the palladoanvarieties. The
telluride–sulfarsenide intergrowths probably formed at Kingash and Kuskanak
late in the crystallization history of the ore zones, from microdroplets of
residual melt rich in semimetals (Te, Bi, As) and noble metals (Pd and Ag),
below the solidus of the enclosing gabbroicrocks and within a narrow range
of temperatures (500–550°C). On the basis of our observations made on
specimens of melonite and synthetic Ni(Te,Bi)2–x (x = 0.6), we
infer that the limit of incorporation of Bi into a melonitetype phase is
≤0.5 Bi apfu.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Because of to its exceptional resolving power, Gaia should detect a few thousands gravitational lensed systems. These consist in multiple images of background quasars. The estimated number of lens phenomena in the sky, however, depends on the cosmological model considered. By taking into account the observational bias that will restrict the detection of lensed quasars, identification of these up to a given limiting magnitude will constrain the cosmological parameters.
We have investigated the known gravitationally lensed quasars present in the Gaia DR1, and found that a significant number of components of these systems have been measured and are present in the Gaia DR1 catalogue although quasi none of them have all their components detected. We additionally examined the immediate surroundings of QSOs from the large Quasar catalogue, LQAC3, and detected several configurations compatible with gravitational lensing phenomena. A more global strategy to systematically detect the potential candidates in the various releases of the Gaia catalogue is presented.