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The use of particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) analysis as a standard analytical tool in the study of trace elements is well known. In the present investigation, an attempt is made to correlate human diseases with the presence or absence of trace elements and/or the changes in their concentration in healthy and diseased tissues. If such correlations do actually exist, trace element analysis could certainly be used as a diagnostic tool for the early detection of diseases and there is considerable interest in such information.
The current study describes the results obtained from clinical examination of over 4700 suckling piglets from 19 individual herds in Germany. In this cohort the prevalence of inflammation and necrosis in the tails, ears, claw coronary bands, heels and teats was determined using a pre-defined scoring system. Results show that already in the 1st days of life, piglets were affected by inflammation and necrosis of the heels (80%), claw coronary bands (50%) and tail base (20%). The praevalences of these alterations in piglets were influenced by genetics (P <0.001) and age, decreasing gradually in the 2nd week of life (P <0.001). Moreover, a correlation between tail length after tail docking and the prevalence of tail necrosis (P⩽0.04) was found. Tail and ear biting as a behavioural trait was not detected during this study. The early onset, appearance and multiple locations of clinical signs of inflammation and the positive correlation with the genetic background of the piglets may suggest an impairment of the innate immune system by infectious and non-infectious agents. This is in contrast to previously described behavioural abnormalities seen in fattening pigs. Considering the obvious reduction of animal welfare due to the described lesions, there is a need to create awareness among pig farmers and to understand the multifactorial causality involved in this inflammation and necrosis syndrome in piglets.
When sponges were well-behaved, a calcareous skeleton was sufficient for assignment to the Class Calcarea. Since the discovery that some sponges secrete both siliceous spicules and a massive calcareous skeleton (Class Sclerospongia Hartman and Goreau, 1970) and more recently, the discovery of an apparent living Sphinctozoan with an aspicular calcareous skeleton and soft parts like those of a demosponge (Vacelet, 1977b) the picture has become more clouded. The groups to be discussed here originally included all the known sponges with massive calcareous material in the skeleton. They were named Pharetrones by Zittel (1878) who emphasized the skeleton of anastomosing fibers, containing, so he thought, spicules packed side-by-side like arrows in a quiver (pharetra is Greek for “quiver”). Steinmann (1882) noted that in some of the genera included by Zittel as well as in new forms which he described, the skeleton was sheet-like and outlined a series of hollow chambers. Steinmann set apart the chambered types as a subgroup Sphinctozoa(=“constricted animals”) and the fibrous types as the subgroup Inozoa(=“fiber animals”). Steinmann also pointed out that the skeleton of the Sphinctozoa was aspicular and spherulitic. Zittel had illustrated the spherulites but considered them diagenetic. Steinmann, however, observed that the spherulites were bored by endolithic algae or fungi, and were therefore probably original. He also noted that the spicules in some Inozoa were sinuous and unlike typical sponge spicules, and indeed considered the pharetronids not to be sponges at all. Hinde (1884) and others soon demonstrated that the fibers of many pharetronids, as well as the external cortical layer (including that of the sphinctozoan Tremacystia) contained typical triradiates of the Class Calcarea. The discovery of the first living pharetronids (Doederlein, 1892, Kirkpatrick, 1900, 1908) with soft-parts and flesh-spicules typical of the Calcarea, seemed to settle the matter. Rauff (1913) introduced the useful term sclerosome for the non-spicular material of the skeleton, which might range from simple cement between spicules to the entire skeleton. It is this material that recent studies by Wendt (1979, 1980), Cuif and others (1979), and Jones (1979) have shown to be quite heterogeneous and variable. We will now look at the morphology and fossil history of the Inozoa and Sphinctozoa without any commitment as to the biological unity of each group.
The structure and evolution of the hexactinellid skeleton has been conditioned by: (1) the rectangular form of the spicule (ultimately due to the square cross-section of the axial canal), and (2) the sheet-like form of the choanocyte-membrane, properly the choano-syncytium (Reiswig, 1979) as individual choanocytes with proper nuclei do not exist, which is a continuous syncytial sheet bearing outpocketings (diverticula) that correspond to the choanocyte chambers of other sponge groups. In most species the diverticula are separate, and attached to one another by syncytial filaments, but their arrangement as part of a sheet-like structure is still apparent. In a few species the choanocyte membrane becomes a labyrinth of anastomosing tubes. Accompanying these are the essential absence of mesogloea and the paucity of collagen (spongin), which results in the soft parts being essentially confined to the space occupied by the skeleton. The place of mesogloea is taken by a syncytial network of filaments which also form the dermal and gastral membranes.
The transformation of global capitalism, labor, and class relations in our own day is having a marked effect on how we study those subjects historically. Yet, as happens repeatedly in our historical discipline, insights gained from the juxtaposition and recognition of deep structural affinities between the present and the past also carry the risk of a distorted mirror effect. What questions we carry to the past and what lessons we, in turn, extract from it must be handled with care. As couriers between worlds of time as well as space, our work as historians inevitably reflects the ignorance as well as intelligence attending the message (as well as the messenger) of the given moment. With these caveats in mind, I want to explore the link between today's global crisis in worker welfare—perhaps most commonly summoned up by the twinned terms “neoliberalism” and the “precariat”—and a new historical preoccupation with coerced laborers of the past. With due deference to the aims of this collection, I will concentrate on the connection between the coolie question, as it developed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the plight (and possible strategies) of low-wage global workers today.
ESA's Gaia space astrometry mission is performing an all-sky survey of stellar objects. At the beginning of the nominal mission in July 2014, an operation scheme was adopted that enabled Gaia to routinely acquire observations of all stars brighter than the original limit of G~6, i.e. the naked-eye stars. We present the current status and extent of those observations.
We report results of an international UV – X-ray campaign in 1990–1992 involving the IUE, Rosat and Ginga satellites to observe E1615+061, a Seyfert 1 galaxy with peculiar spectral and intensity behaviour over the last 20 years. The source has been found to be stable in its medium state during the observations. The Ginga (1–20 keV) spectrum of E1615+061 is adequately represented by a simple power law with a photon index α = 1.8 ± 0.1. However, α ∼ 2, as expected for the intrinsic power law component in a reflection model, cannot be ruled out statistically. The Rosat PSPC (0.1–2 keV) spectra collected during the All Sky Survey and the AO-1 phase can be well-described by a simple power law (α = 2.2 ± 0.1) with cold absorber (NH = 3.5 ± 0.3 · 10λ20 H/cmλ2). Both the photon index being significantly different than that obtained from the Ginga spectrum and the column density being smaller than the galactic column (NH ∼ 4.2 · 10λ20 H/cmλ2) give an indication of a soft excess over and above the hard component seen in the Ginga spectrum. E1615+061 has been observed with IUE in 1990 and in 1992. The source was stable and the colour excess E(B-V) derived from the data = 0.1 is in good agreement with that expected from the galactic absorption.
To parameterise the soft excess we fitted the Rosat data with a two-component model consisting of a power law, and a blackbody or thermal bremsstrahlung, with a single galactic absorption term. The column density and the slope of the power law were kept constant. The blackbody temperature was 80 ± 6 eV and 63 ± 12 eV for photon index equal to 1.8 and 2.0, respectively, whereas the bremsstrahlung temperature was 220 ± 40 eV and 115 ± 30 eV for the two cases.
An attempt to model the soft excess seen in the Rosat PSPC spectrum has been made assuming that the soft excess is the high energy tail of a disc spectrum which peaks in the UV part of the spectrum. Additionally it was assumed that there is a hard component contributing to the spectrum from UV to X-rays with parameters as described by the Ginga spectrum. The best fit parameters: the mass of the central source and the mass accretion rate were around 5 ± 1 · 10λ6 M⊙ and 0.2 ± 0.04 M⊙/yr, respectively.
Our modelling shows that the soft X-ray excess can be described (χredλ2 < 1.2) as the high energy tail of an accretion disk spectrum if the intrinsic power law is quite steep (α = 2). The main contribution to the residuals in the Rosat PSPC range comes from 0.3–0.6 keV, with a tendency for these residuals to increase when the slope gets flatter. The accretion luminosity is ∼ 6.5 · 10λ44 erg/s for the best fit parameters, i.e. about the Eddington luminosity.
A population of shells of the Cretaceous oyster Agerostrea mesenterica was obtained from a single locality. The age at death for each shell could be determined, and the population was deemed to be essentially undisturbed and capable of providing a mortality record of the local population averaged over a span of time. We measured four morphometric characters which, on the basis of a functional morphologic model, could be expected to have adaptive value. The frequency distribution of each character was analyzed separately for the three year old and for the six year and older specimens in order to determine which individuals died young and which survived to old age. Ontogenetic effects were separated from those of differential mortality by independent means. The results indicated that there was (1) directed selection for maximum curvature, (2) centripetal selection for a plica number of about 8, and (3) a net centripetal effect on both arc length and plica height, composed of selection against largest values coupled with a possible selection against smaller values that cannot be separated from ontogenetic effects. Only the selection for maximum curvature and optimal plica number can be reconciled with the predictions of the model.
Prebiotic oligosaccharides, including galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), are used in infant formula to mimic human milk oligosaccharides, which are known to have an important role in the development of the intestinal microbiota and the immune system in neonates. The maturation of the intestines in piglets closely resembles that of human neonates and infants. Hence, a neonatal piglet model was used to study the multi-faceted effect of dietary GOS in early life. Naturally farrowed piglets were separated from the mother sow 24–48 h postpartum and received a milk replacer with or without the addition of GOS for 3 or 26 d, whereafter several indicators of intestinal colonisation and maturation were measured. Dietary GOS was readily fermented in the colon, leading to a decreased pH, an increase in butyric acid in caecum digesta and an increase in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria numbers at day 26. Histomorphological changes were observed in the intestines of piglets fed a GOS diet for 3 or 26 d. In turn, differences in the intestinal disaccharidase activity were observed between control and GOS-fed piglets. The mRNA expression of various tight junction proteins was up-regulated in the intestines of piglet fed a GOS diet and was not accompanied by an increase in protein expression. GOS also increased defensin porcine β-defensin-2 in the colon and secretory IgA levels in saliva. In conclusion, by applying a neonatal piglet model, it could be demonstrated that a GOS-supplemented milk replacer promotes the balance of the developing intestinal microbiota, improves the intestinal architecture and seems to stimulate the intestinal defence mechanism.
Kalahari Group sediments accumulated in the Kalahari basin, which started forming during the breakup of Gondwana in the early Cretaceous. These sediments cover an extensive part of southern Africa and form a low-relief landscape. Current models assume that the Kalahari Group accumulated throughout the entire Cenozoic. However, chronology has been restricted to early–middle Cenozoic biostratigraphic correlations and to OSL dating of only the past ~ 300 ka. We present a new chronological framework that reveals a dynamic nature of sedimentation in the southern Kalahari. Cosmogenic burial ages obtained from a 55 m section of Kalahari Group sediments from the Mamatwan Mine, southern Kalahari, indicate that the majority of deposition at this location occurred rapidly at 1–1.2 Ma. This Pleistocene sequence overlies the Archaean basement, forming a significant hiatus that permits the possibility of many Phanerozoic cycles of deposition and erosion no longer preserved in the sedimentary record. Our data also establish the existence of a shallow early–middle Pleistocene water body that persisted for > 450 ka prior to this rapid period of deposition. Evidence from neighboring archeological excavations in southern Africa suggests an association of high-density hominin occupation with this water body.
Vegetable production systems are often characterized by excessive nitrogen (N) fertilization and the incorporation of large amounts of post-harvest crop residues. This makes them particularly prone to ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Yet, urgently needed management strategies that can reduce these harmful emissions are missing, because underlying processes are not fully understood. The present study therefore focuses on the effects of residue placement on NH3 and N2O emissions. For this, cauliflower leaf residues (286 kg N/ha) were either applied as surface mulch (mulch) or mixed with the topsoil (mix) and in situ NH3 and N2O emissions were investigated. The experiment took place on a sandy soil in Northeastern Germany during summer 2012. Residue application created a high peak in N2O emissions during the first 2 weeks, irrespective of residue placement. There was no significant difference in the emission sums over the experimental period (65 days) between the mix (5·8 ± 0·68 kg N2O-N/ha) and the mulch (9·7 ± 1·53 kg N2O-N/ha) treatment. This was also the case for NH3 emissions, which exhibited a lower initial peak followed by a prolonged decline. Measured emission sums were 4·1 ± 0·33 (mix) and 5·1 ± 0·73 (mulch) kg NH3-N/ha. It was concluded that substantial NH3 and N2O emissions can occur after high input of available organic carbon and N even in a coarse-textured soil with low water-holding capacity. Other than expected, surface-application does not enhance NH3 emissions at the expense of N2O emissions compared with residue mixing into the soil, at least under the conditions of the present study.
The Dead Sea fault (DSF) is one of the most active plate boundaries in the world. Understanding the Quaternary history and sediments of the DSF requires investigation into the Neogene development of this plate boundary. DSF lateral motion preceded significant extension and rift morphology by ~10 Ma. Sediments of the Sedom Formation, dated here between 5.0 ± 0.5 Ma and 6.2−2.1+inf Ma, yielded extremely low 10Be concentrations and 26Al is absent. These reflect the antiquity of the sediments, deposited in the Sedom Lagoon, which evolved in a subdued landscape and was connected to the Mediterranean Sea. The base of the overlying Amora Formation, deposited in the terminal Amora Lake which developed under increasing relief that promoted escarpment incision, was dated at 3.3−0.8+0.9 Ma. Burial ages of fluvial sediments within caves (3.4 ± 0.2 Ma and 3.6 ± 0.4 Ma) represent the timing of initial incision. Initial DSF topography coincides with the earliest Red Sea MORB's and the East Anatolian fault initiation. These suggest a change in the relative Arabian–African plate motion. This change introduced the rifting component to the DSF followed by a significant subsidence, margin uplift, and a reorganization of relief and drainage pattern in the region resulting in the topographic framework observed today.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are clinically challenging, threaten patient safety, and represent an emerging public health issue. CRE reporting is not mandated in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Community Health–led CRE Surveillance and Prevention Initiative enrolled 21 facilities (17 acute care and 4 long-term acute care facilities) across the state. Baseline data collection began September 1, 2012, and ended February 28, 2013 (duration, 6 months). Enrolled facilities voluntarily reported cases of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli according to the surveillance algorithm. Patient demographic characteristics, laboratory testing, microbiology, clinical, and antimicrobial information were captured via standardized data collection forms. Facilities reported admissions and patient-days each month.
One-hundred two cases over 957,220 patient-days were reported, resulting in a crude incidence rate of 1.07 cases per 10,000 patient-days. Eighty-nine case patients had test results positive for K. pneumoniae, whereas 13 had results positive for E. coli. CRE case patients had a mean age of 63 years, and 51% were male. Urine cultures (61%) were the most frequently reported specimen source. Thirty-five percent of cases were hospital onset; sixty-five percent were community onset (CO), although 75% of CO case patients reported healthcare exposure within the previous 90 days. Cardiovascular disease, renal failure, and diabetes mellitus were the most frequently reported comorbid conditions. Common ris k factors included surgery within the previous 90 days, recent infection or colonization with a multidrug-resistant organism, and recent exposures to antimicrobials, especially third- or fourth-generation cephalosporins.
CRE are found throughout Michigan healthcare facilities. Implementing a regional, coordinated surveillance and prevention initiative may prevent CRE from becoming hyperendemic in Michigan.
Converging evidence indicates that a considerable amount of variance in self-estimated emotional competency can be directly attributed to genetic factors. The current study examined the associations between the polymorphisms of the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Met158Val) and the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and specific measures of the self-estimated effectiveness of an individual’s emotion perception and regulation. Emotional competence was measured in a large sample of 289 healthy women by using the Self-report Emotional Ability Scale (SEAS), which includes two subscales for the assessment of emotion perception and regulation in the intra-personal domain and two subscales for the assessment of emotion perception and regulation in the inter-personal domain. Participants’ reports of effective emotion regulation in everyday life were associated with the COMT Met-allele, with women homozygous for the Val-allele scoring lowest on this scale. Self-estimated effectiveness of emotion perception of the individual’s own emotions was related to the 5-HTTLPR. Both homozygous groups (s/s and l/l) rated their intra-personal emotion perception less effective than participants in the heterozygous s/l group. Taken together, the results indicate that genetic variants of the COMT and 5HTTLPR genes are differentially associated with specific measures of the self-estimated effectiveness of an individual’s emotion perception and regulation in the intra-personal domain. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–9)
The discovery of γ-ray emission from 5 radio-loud narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies revealed the presence of a possible emerging third class of AGNs with relativistic jets, in addition to blazars and radio galaxies. The existence of relativistic jets also in this subclass of Seyfert galaxies opened an unexplored research space for our knowledge of the radio-loud AGNs. Here, we discuss the radio-to-γ-rays properties of the γ-ray emitting narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies, also in comparison with the blazar scenario.