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Breastfeeding may reduce obesity risk, but this association could be confounded by breastfeeding families’ characteristics. We investigated if body composition differs at birth among infants who were either exclusively breast- or formula-fed. We hypothesized the two groups would differ in body composition, even at birth, prior to their post-natal feeding experience. Healthy primiparous carrying singleton pregnancy were recruited at 15 weeks’ gestation. PEA POD® measured body composition within 72 hours of delivery and infant feeding was prospectively captured. Out of the 1,152 infants recruited, 117 (10.2%) and 239 (20.7%) went on to be either exclusively breast- or formula-fed, respectively. Breastfed infants were heavier at birth, but their percentage fat mass (FM) was lower than that of exclusively formula-fed infants (covariate adjusted β = −1.91 percentage points of FM; 95% CI −2.82 to −1.01). Differences in intra-uterine exposures, irrespective of early diet, may partly explain an infant’s obesity risk.
Animal’s feed efficiency in growing cattle (i.e. the animal ability to reach a market or adult BW with the least amount of feed intake), is a key factor in the beef cattle industry. Feeding systems have made huge progress to understand dietary factors influencing the average animal feed efficiency. However, there exists a considerable amount of animal-to-animal variation around the average feed efficiency observed in beef cattle reared in similar conditions, which is still far from being understood. This review aims to identify biological determinants and molecular pathways involved in the between-animal variation in feed efficiency with particular reference to growing beef cattle phenotyped for residual feed intake (RFI). Moreover, the review attempts to distinguish true potential determinants from those revealed through simple associations or indirectly linked to RFI through their association with feed intake. Most representative and studied biological processes which seem to be connected to feed efficiency were reviewed, such as feeding behaviour, digestion and methane production, rumen microbiome structure and functioning, energy metabolism at the whole body and cellular levels, protein turnover, hormone regulation and body composition. In addition, an overall molecular network analysis was conducted for unravelling networks and their linked functions involved in between-animal variation in feed efficiency. The results from this review suggest that feeding and digestive-related mechanisms could be associated with RFI mainly because they co-vary with feed intake. Although much more research is warranted, especially with high-forage diets, the role of feeding and digestive related mechanisms as true determinants of animal variability in feed efficiency could be minor. Concerning the metabolic-related mechanisms, despite the scarcity of studies using reference methods it seems that feed efficient animals have a significantly lower energy metabolic rate independent of the associated intake reduction. This lower heat production in feed efficient animals may result from a decreased protein turnover and a higher efficiency of ATP production in mitochondria, both mechanisms also identified in the molecular network analysis. In contrast, hormones and body composition could not be conclusively related to animal-to-animal variation in feed efficiency. The analysis of potential biological networks underlying RFI variations highlighted other significant pathways such as lipid metabolism and immunity and stress response. Finally, emerging knowledge suggests that metabolic functions underlying genetic variation in feed efficiency could be associated with other important traits in animal production. This emphasizes the relevance of understanding the biological basis of relevant animal traits to better define future balanced breeding programmes.
Between World War I and World War II, the World Day of Prayer (WDP) expressed Protestant women's Christian cosmopolitanism that combined rituals of prayer with a liberal program of social activism and humanitarianism. The WDP began as a way to unite Protestant women together across organizational denominational lines as women's missionary societies entered a period of decline in the 1920s. The WDP raised awareness of home and foreign missionary work and took up a collection to support designated home and foreign mission projects, but it quickly emerged as a site for ritual creativity. The planning committees and prayer service facilitated Protestant women's efforts to replace a traditional understanding of missionary work with a cosmopolitan Christianity that coupled American women's spirituality with a liberal program supportive of racial diversity and internationalism. The prayer services became sacred spaces to enact “unity in diversity,” even though this was always more an ideal than a reality. Churchwomen used the evident dissonance between a universalist vision of a united Christian world and the realities of racial, religious, and national difference to generate discomfort in the prayer services and to deepen participants' spiritual experiences. While the interwar era is understood as a period of theological schisms and Protestant declension, a gendered analysis of Protestantism through the World Day of Prayer shows that it was also a period of religious transformation as churchwomen formulated a modern social gospel that paired spirituality and action in ways that would shape Protestant churches for the next several decades.
Millions of micro electro mechanical system sensors are fabricated each year using an ultra-clean process that allows for a vacuum-encapsulated cavity. These devices have a multi-layer structure that contains hidden layers with highly doped silicon, which makes common imaging techniques ineffective. Thus, examining device features post-fabrication, and testing, is a significant challenge. Here, we use a combination of micro- and nano-scale x-ray computed tomography to study device features and assess failure mechanisms in such devices without destroying the ultra-clean cavity. This provides a unique opportunity to examine surfaces and trace failure mechanisms to specific steps in the fabrication process.
The growth of Ag on ZnO was modeled using a reactive force field potential and a combination of molecular dynamics and adaptive kinetic Monte Carlo (AKMC) simulations. An adaptive lattice-based AKMC model is described as a method of extending timescales and length scales that can be simulated. Reusing previously found transitions to reduce computational time is discussed for both the lattice and off-lattice AKMC approaches. With these methods, growth of over 1 monolayer’s worth of Ag is simulated corresponding to a real deposition time of up to 0.1 s. The results show that the deposited silver aggregates on the surface through mainly single atom moves with few concerted motions. Initially silver adatoms do not agglomerate and the energy barriers for silver dimers to form are larger than for them to break apart. The first layer of silver grows as a series of connected regions rather than forming well-defined centro-symmetric islands.
Cull cows comprise about 44% of all cattle slaughtered at Irish meat factories in 2006; which was an increase of 6% from 2005. Between September and December 2006, 18% of cull cows failed to achieve P+3 carcass classification compared with 12% for the remainder of the year (DAF, 2006). There is a large proportion of cows slaughtered in November, which suggests that unfit (low bodyweight and condition score) cows are being presented for slaughter at the end of lactation without finishing prior to slaughter. Farmers who are finish feeding cull cows have an interest in alternative feeding regimes i.e. pasture and/or forage use for a more economical beef supply due to increasing concentrate costs, however present farm practice and culling decisions made by the dairy farmer often excludes this as a real possibility. The objective of this study was to compare days to slaughter, average daily gain, and final live and carcass of cull dairy cows subjected to four over-wintering strategies prior to a pasture based finishing diet.
With the UK population ageing, deciding upon a satisfactory and sustainable system for the funding of people’s long-term care (LTC) needs has long been a topic of political debate. Phase 1 of the Care Act 2014 (“the Act”) brought in some of the reforms recommended by the Dilnot Commission in 2011. However, the Government announced during 2015 that Phase 2 of “the Act” such as the introduction of a £72,000 cap on Local Authority care costs and a change in the means testing thresholds1 would be deferred until 2020. In addition to this delay, the “freedom and choice” agenda for pensions has come into force. It is therefore timely that the potential market responses to help people pay for their care within the new pensions environment should be considered. In this paper, we analyse whether the proposed reforms meet the policy intention of protecting people from catastrophic care costs, whilst facilitating individual understanding of their potential care funding requirements. In particular, we review a number of financial products and ascertain the extent to which such products might help individuals to fund the LTC costs for which they would be responsible for meeting. We also produce case studies to demonstrate the complexities of the care funding system. Finally, we review the potential impact on incentives for individuals to save for care costs under the proposed new means testing thresholds and compare these with the current thresholds. We conclude that:
∙Although it is still too early to understand exactly how individuals will respond to the pensions freedom and choice agenda, there are a number of financial products that might complement the new flexibilities and help people make provision for care costs.
∙The new care funding system is complex making it difficult for people to understand their potential care costs.
∙The current means testing system causes a disincentive to save. The new means testing thresholds provide a greater level of reward for savers than the existing thresholds and therefore may increase the level of saving for care; however, the new thresholds could still act as a barrier since disincentives still exist.
In this review, we discuss the potential role of metabolomics to enhance understanding of obesity-related developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). We first provide an overview of common techniques and analytical approaches to help interested investigators dive into this relatively novel field. Next, we describe how metabolomics may capture exposures that are notoriously difficult to quantify, and help to further refine phenotypes associated with excess adiposity and related metabolic sequelae over the life course. Together, these data can ultimately help to elucidate mechanisms that underlie fetal metabolic programming. Finally, we review current gaps in knowledge and identify areas where the field of metabolomics is likely to provide insights into mechanisms linked to DOHaD in human populations.
The death of Nelson Mandela on 5 December 2013 was in a sense a wake-up call for South Africans, and a time to reflect on what has been achieved since ‘those magnificent days in late April 1994’ (as the editors of this volume put it) ‘when South Africans of all colours voted for the first time in a democratic election’. In a time of recall and reflection it is important to take account, not only of the dramatic events that grip the headlines, but also of other signposts that indicate the shape and characteristics of a society. The New South African Review looks, every year, at some of these signposts, and the essays in this fourth volume of the series again examine and analyse a broad spectrum of issues affecting the country. They tackle topics as diverse as the state of organised labour; food retailing; electricity generation; access to information; civil courage; the school system; and – looking outside the country to its place in the world – South Africa’s relationships with north-east Asia, with Israel and with its neighbours in the southern African region. Taken together, these essays give a multidimensional perspective on South Africa’s democracy as it turns twenty, and will be of interest to general readers while being particularly useful to students and researchers.