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In semiarid conditions, feed is often scarce and variable with underfeeding being common; these factors can potentially induce fertility reductions in both sexes. Sexually active bucks are able to very efficiently fertilize out-of-season goats, but we do not know whether underfeeding would reduce the ability of bucks to fertilize goats during these periods. Two experiments were conducted to determine (i) testicular size and change of odor intensity of undernourished bucks exposed to long days and (ii) the ability of these bucks to stimulate reproductive activity in seasonally anestrous goats. In experiment 1, bucks (n = 7) were fed 1.5 times the normal maintenance requirements from September to May and formed the well-fed group. Another group of bucks (n = 7) were fed 0.5 times the maintenance requirements and formed the undernourished group. All bucks were subjected to artificially long days from 1 November to 15 January; this period was followed by a natural photoperiod until 30 May. Body weight, scrotal circumference and male odor intensity changes were determined every 2 weeks. In experiment 2, two groups of female goats (n = 26 each) were exposed to well-fed (n = 2) or undernourished bucks (n = 2) on 31 March. Ovulations and pregnancy rates were determined by transrectal ultrasonography. In experiment 1, a treatment by time interaction was detected for BW, scrotal circumference and odor intensity changes (P < 0.001). The BWs of well-fed bucks were greater than those of the undernourished bucks from October to May (P < 0.01), as were the scrotal circumferences from December to March (P < 0.05) and odor intensities from February to May (P < 0.05). In experiment 2, the proportions of females that ovulated at least once (100% v. 96%) or those that were diagnosed as pregnant (85% v. 77%; P > 0.05) did not differ significantly between the goats exposed to well-fed or undernourished bucks. The interval between the introduction of bucks and the onset of estrous behavior was shorter in goats exposed to well-fed bucks compared to the interval for those goats exposed to undernourished bucks (2.5 ± 0.2 v. 9.5 ± 0.6 days; P < 0.05). We conclude that undernourishment reduces the testicular size and odor intensity responses in bucks exposed to long days, but that undernourished bucks are still able to stimulate reproductive activity in seasonally anestrous goats, as is also the case for well-fed bucks.
The continuous presence of active male small ruminants prevents seasonal anestrus in females, but evidence of the same mechanism operating from the females to the males is scarce. This study assessed the effects of the continuous presence of ewes in estrus in spring on ram sexual activity, testicular size and echogenicity, and LH and testosterone concentrations. On 1 March, 20 rams were assigned to two groups (n = 10 each): isolated (ISO) from other sheep, or stimulated (STI) by 12 ewes, which were separated from the rams by an openwork metal barrier, allowing contact between sexes. Each week, four ewes were induced into estrus by intravaginal sponges. Live weight, scrotal circumference, testicular width (TW) and length (TL) were recorded at the beginning and at the end of the experiment, and testicular volume (TV) was calculated; at the same time, testicular ultrasonography and color Doppler scanning were performed. Blood samples (March to May) were collected once per week for testosterone determinations, and at the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected for 6 h at 20-min intervals for LH analysis. Rams were exposed to four estrous ewes in a serving-capacity test. Scrotal circumference, TW and TL were higher in the STI than in the ISO rams (P < 0.05) in May, and TV was higher (P < 0.05) in the STI (391 ± 17 cm3) than in the ISO rams (354 ± 24 cm3). In ISO rams, the number of white pixels was higher (P < 0.01) in May (348 ± 74) than in March (94 ± 21) and differed significantly (P < 0.01) from that of the STI rams in May (160 ± 33). In ISO rams, the number of grey pixels was higher (P < 0.05) in May (107 ± 3) than it was in March (99 ± 1). Stimulated and ISO rams did not differ significantly in mean LH plasma concentrations (0.8 ± 0.5 v. 0.9 ± 0.4 ng/ml), LH pulses (2.1 ± 0.5 v. 2.2 ± 0.2) and amplitude (2.0 ± 0.4 v. 3.2 ± 0.7 ng/ml, respectively). Stimulated rams had significantly higher testosterone concentrations than ISO rams from April to the end of the experiment. Stimulated rams performed more (P < 0.05) mountings with intromission (3.0 ± 0.4) than did ISO rams (1.5 ± 0.5). In conclusion, after 3 months in the continuous presence of ewes in estrus in spring, rams had higher TV and some testicular echogenic parameters were modified than isolated rams. Although exposed rams also had higher levels of testosterone after 2 months in the presence of estrous ewes, their LH pulsatility at the end of the study was not modified.
The exposure of adult, female, Mediterranean goats during anoestrus to males with induced sexual activity via photostimulation, induces a very high percentage of ovulations. The present work examines the ability of photostimulated bucks to improve the male effect-induced reproductive response of young does over that induced by non-stimulated bucks. A 2×2 factorial experiment was designed, consisting of doe age and buck photoperiod treatments. During seasonal anoestrus, 41 does aged 7 (n=19) or 10 (n=22) months were subjected to the male effect on 10 April; half of each group was exposed to males rendered sexually active by prior exposure to 3 months of long days (16 h of light/day) from 31 October (PHOTO bucks), and half to males maintained under the natural photoperiod (CONTROL bucks). Oestrous activity was recorded daily by direct visual observation of the marks left by male-worn marking harnesses over the 32 days following the bringing of the sexes together (introduction). Doe body weight and body condition were determined weekly. Ovulation was detected by measuring plasma progesterone concentrations twice per week over the 3 weeks after introduction. The ovulation rate was assessed by transrectal ultrasonography. Fecundity, fertility, prolificacy and productivity were also determined. The interaction doe age × buck photoperiod treatment had no effect on any outcome. The percentage of females showing ovulation or oestrus was higher in the does exposed to PHOTO bucks (85% v. 43% for those exposed to CONTROL bucks) they also showed higher fertility (75% v. 43%) and productivity (1.05±0.17 v. 0.57±0.16 kids born per doe serviced) (all P values at least P<0.05). The 10-month-old group showed higher percentage of females showing ovulation, oestrus, fertility and productivity than the 7-month-old does after the male effect (females showing ovulation: 82% v. 42%; showing oestrus: 73% v. 42%; fertility: 73% v. 42% and productivity: 1.09±0.17 v. 0.47±0.14 goat kids born per doe serviced; respectively, all P values at least P<0.05). The present results show that the use of photostimulated males improves the reproductive performance of 7- and 10-month-old does, and may contribute towards increasing their productivity and lifetime reproductive performance.
In this systematic evaluation of fluorescent gel markers (FGM) applied to high-touch surfaces with a metered applicator (MA) made for the purpose versus a generic cotton swab (CS), removal rates were 60.5% (476 of 787) for the MA and 64.3% (506 of 787) for the CS. MA-FGM removal interpretation was more consistent, 83% versus 50% not removed, possibly due to less varied application and more adhesive gel.
Social media presents an important means for social interaction, especially among adolescents, with Instagram being the most popular platform in this age-group. Pictures and communication about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) can frequently be found on the internet.
During 4 weeks in April 2016, n = 2826 (from n = 1154 accounts) pictures which directly depicted wounds on Instagram were investigated. Those pictures, associated comments, and user accounts were independently rated for content. Associations between characteristics of pictures and comments as well as weekly and daily trends of posting behavior were analyzed.
Most commonly, pictures depicted wounds caused by cutting on arms or legs and were rated as mild or moderate injuries. Pictures with increasing wound grades and those depicting multiple methods of NSSI generated elevated amounts of comments. While most comments were neutral or empathic with some offering help, few comments were hostile. Pictures were mainly posted in the evening hours, with a small peak in the early morning. While there was a slight peak of pictures being posted on Sundays, postings were rather evenly spread across the week.
Pictures of NSSI are frequently posted on Instagram. Social reinforcement might play a role in the posting of more severe NSSI pictures. Social media platforms need to take appropriate measures for preventing online social contagion.
Children and adolescents are a vulnerable group to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms after natural or man-made disasters. In the light of increasing numbers of refugees under the age of 18 years worldwide, there is a significant need for effective treatments. This meta-analytic review investigates specific psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents after man-made and natural disasters. In a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO, as well as hand-searching existing reviews and contacting professional associations, 36 studies were identified. Random- and mixed-effects models were applied to test for average effect sizes and moderating variables. Overall, treatments showed high effect sizes in pre–post comparisons (Hedges' g = 1.34) and medium effect sizes as compared with control conditions (Hedges' g = 0.43). Treatments investigated by at least two studies were cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), narrative exposure therapy for children (KIDNET) and classroom-based interventions, which showed similar effect sizes. However, studies were very heterogenic with regard to their outcomes. Effects were moderated by type of profession (higher level of training leading to higher effect sizes). A number of effective psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent survivors of disasters exist. CBT, EMDR, KIDNET and classroom-based interventions can be equally recommended. Although disasters require immediate reactions and improvisation, future studies with larger sample sizes and rigorous methodology are needed.
This contribution deals with Carbon Nanotubes Field Effect transistors (CNTFETs) based gas sensors fabricated using a completely new dynamic spray based technique (patented) for SWCNTs deposition. The extreme novelty is that our technique is compatible with large surfaces, flexible substrates and allows to fabricate high performances transistors exploiting the percolation effect of the SWCNTs networks achieved with extremely reproducible characteristics. Recently, we have been able to achieve extremely selective measurement of NO2, NH3 and CO using four CNTFETS fabricated using different metals as electrodes, exploiting the specific interaction between gas and metal/SWCNT junctions. In this way we have identify an electronic fingerprinting of the gas detected. The response time is evaluated at less than 30sec.
Magneto-optical garnet based optical circulator was designed and fabricated with wafer-scale technology. Modeling and simulation strategy is established for the optimization of a new design of circulator based on ring cavity. Wafer-scale technological process is developed and demonstrated allowing fabrication of the optimized BIG/GGG buried ring circulator.