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We present a scintillator-based detector able to measure the proton energy and the spatial distribution with a relatively simple design. It has been designed and built at the Spanish Center for Pulsed Lasers (CLPU) in Salamanca and tested in the proton accelerator at the Centro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM) in Madrid. The detector is capable of being set in the high repetition rate (HRR) mode and reproduces the performance of the radiochromic film detector. It represents a new class of online detectors for laser–plasma physics experiments in the newly emerging high power laser laboratories working at HRR.
Increased animal productivity has reduced animal fitness, resulting in increased susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases, locomotion problems and subfertility. Future animal breeding strategies should focus on balancing high production levels with health status monitoring and improved welfare. Additionally, understanding how animals interact with their internal and external environment is essential for improving health, fitness, and welfare. In this context, the continuous validation of existing biomarkers and the discovery and field implementation of new biomarkers will enable us to understand the specific physiological process and regulatory mechanisms used by the organism to adapt to different environmental conditions. Thus, biomarkers may be used to monitor welfare and improve management and breeding strategies. In this article, we describe major achievements in the establishment of biomarkers in dairy cows and small ruminants. This review mainly focuses on the physiological biomarkers used to monitor animal responses to, and recovery from, environmental perturbations. We highlight future avenues for research in this field and present a timely positioning document to the scientific community.
This paper presents updated analyses on the genetic associations of sleep disruption in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We published previously a study of the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in eight genes related to circadian rhythms and objective measures of sleep-wake disturbances in 124 individuals with AD. Here, we present new relevant analyses using polygenic risk scores (PRS) and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) enumerations. PRS were calculated using the genetic data from the original participants and relevant genome wide association studies (GWAS). VNTRs for the same circadian rhythm genes studied with SNPs were obtained from a separate cohort of participants using whole genome sequencing (WGS). Objectively (wrist actigraphy) determined wake after sleep onset (WASO) was used as a measure of sleep disruption. None of the PRS were associated with sleep disturbance. Computer analyses using VNTRseek software generated a total of 30 VNTRs for the circadian-related genes but none appear relevant to our objective sleep measure. In addition, of 71 neurotransmitter function-related genes, 29 genes had VNTRs that differed from the reference VNTR, but it was not clear if any of these might affect circadian function in AD patients. Although we have not found in either the current analyses or in our previous published analyses of SNPs any direct linkages between identified genetic factors and WASO, research in this area remains in its infancy.
Apicomplexans, including species of Eimeria, pose a real threat to the health and wellbeing of animals and humans. Eimeria parasites do not infect humans but cause an important economic impact on livestock, in particular on the poultry industry. Despite its high prevalence and financial costs, little is known about the cell biology of these ‘cosmopolitan’ parasites found all over the world. In this review, we discuss different aspects of the life cycle and stages of Eimeria species, focusing on cellular structures and organelles typical of the coccidian family as well as genus-specific features, complementing some ‘unknowns’ with what is described in the closely related coccidian Toxoplasma gondii.
Different nanostructures such as: CuOH nanorods, CuO nanosheets and Cu2O nanograins were obtained by anodization approach at room temperature during times from 10 to 40 minutes. By scanning electron microscopy technique, it was found that Cu2O nanograins were formed at 10 minutes, CuO nanosheets vertically oriented on nanograins were observed at 20 and 30 minutes, and from 20 minutes CuOH nanorods with low vertical orientation on nanosheets were formed, coexisting the three types of nanostructures at the same system. In samples without thermal treatment were observed that Raman spectra of nanograins have a typical signal at 218 cm-1 associated to Cu2O, Raman spectra of nanosheets have signals at 287 and 630 cm-1 associated to CuO and Raman spectra of nanorods, it was observed that Raman spectrum is dominated by an intense signal associated to CuOH located around 488cm-1. In addition, after 3 hours of thermal treatment at 300 °C, the morphology was conserved, and the hydrogen-related compound decreased. Raman spectra of nanorods only presented a signal at 287 cm-1 associated to CuO whereas in nanosheets three peaks at 150, 218, 304 cm-1 associated to the Cu2O were observed.
Predation by Engytatus varians (Distant) adults on different development stages of the prey species Bactericera cockerelli (Sulcer) (egg, second, and third nymphal instars), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (egg, first, and second larval instars) was evaluated using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) leaflets or plants. These insects are the primary pest of several agriculturally important crops. The influence of E. varians age on the predation capacity was also analysed. Engytatus varians females consumed significantly more B. cockerelli eggs and nymphs than males. Additionally, female predators consumed significantly more second than third instar prey at two predator ages, while males consumed significantly more the second instar than third instar prey at all predator ages. In most of the cases, females also consumed significantly more S. exigua and S. frugiperda eggs than males; however, in terms of larvae consumption, this difference was observed only in some predator ages. Females consumed more the first than second instar S. exigua than males, whereas this behaviour was only observed in males when the predators were 15 and 17 days old. No significant differences were observed in the consumption of first and second instar of S. frugiperda for both sexes of the predators. Predator age did not cause any systematic effects on the predation rates of any prey species. Based on these results, we confirmed that E. varians has potential as a biological control agent for B. cockerelli and also for the Spodoptera species bioassayed.
Acanthogyrus (Acanthosentis) maroccanus (Dollfus, 1951), an insufficiently described quadrigyrid acanthocephalan of cyprinid fishes from Northwest Africa, is redescribed based on recently collected specimens from the Algerian barb Luciobarbus callensis (Valenciennes) in Algeria. Newly observed morphological features for A. (A.) maroccanus include the arrangement of proboscis hooks (not in regular circles), the male reproductive structures extending into the copulatory bursa and the presence of a para-receptacle structure and vaginal sleeve. The mechanism of copulation of this acanthocephalan is described based on several copulating pairs. The phylogenetic position of A. (A.) maroccanus within Eoacanthocephala was assessed based on partial 28S rDNA sequences. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses placed A. (A.) maroccanus in a clade with Palliolisentis (Demidueterospinus) ophiocephalus (Thapar, 1931), both species included in the Quadrigyridae, the only family within the Gyracanthocephala.
This study assessed the in vitro anthelmintic (AH) activity of methanol and acetone:water leaf extracts from Annona squamosa, A. muricata and A. reticulata against Haemonchus contortus eggs. The egg hatch test was used to determine the effective concentrations required to inhibit 50% of eggs hatching (EC50). The role of polyphenols on AH activity was measured through bioassays with and without polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP). Methanolic extracts mainly caused the death of eggs at the morula stage (ovicidal activity). Meanwhile, acetone:water extracts caused egg-hatching failure of developed larvae (larvae failing eclosion (LFE) activity). The lowest EC50 values against H. contortus eggs were observed for the methanolic extracts from A. reticulata and A. muricata (274.2 and 382.9 µg/ml, respectively). From the six extracts evaluated, the methanolic extracts of A. muricata, A. reticulata and A. squamosa showed the highest ovicidal activity, resulting in 98.9%, 92.8% and 95.1% egg mortality, respectively. When the methanolic extract of A. squamosa was incubated with PVPP, its AH activity increased. Similarly, when acetone:water extracts of A. muriata and A. reticulata were incubated with PVPP, their LFE activity increased. Alkaloids were only evident in methanolic extracts, irrespective of PVPP incubation. The presence of acetogenins was not observed. In conclusion, methanolic extracts obtained from leaves of A. muricata, A. reticulata and A. squamosa showed ovicidal activity affecting the morula of H. contortus eggs, with minor LFE activity. Meanwhile, acetone:water extracts showed mostly LFE activity, with a lower proportion of ovicidal activity.
Although bariatric surgery is approved for a woman of child-bearing age with an interest in subsequent pregnancy, reports of in utero growth issues during pregnancy have garnered a closer look at the impact of maternal surgical weight loss on the pre- and postpartum periods. Offspring of dams having received vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) are born small-for-gestational age and have increased risk for metabolic syndrome later in life. Here, we aimed to determine whether the postnatal catch-up growth trajectory of bariatric offspring may be affected by milk composition. Milk samples were collected at postnatal day 15/16 from dams having received VSG surgery and fed a high-fat diet (HFD) (H-VSG), Sham surgery and fed chow (C-Sham), or Sham surgery and fed HFD (H-Sham). Milk obtained from H-VSG dams had elevated glucose (P < 0.05) and significantly reduced triglyceride content (P < 0.01). Milk from H-Sham dams had the lowest amount of milk protein (P < 0.05). Fatty acid composition measured by fractionation was largely not affected by surgery but rather maternal diet. No difference was observed in milk leptin levels; however, insulin, adiponectin, and growth hormone levels were significantly increased in milk from H-VSG animals. H-Sham had the lowest level of immunoglobulin (Ig)A, whereas IgG was significantly reduced in H-VSG. Taken together, the quality of milk from H-VSG dams suggests that milk composition could be a factor in reducing the rate of growth during the lactation period.
Calcium homeostasis is crucial for the normal function of the organism. Parathyroid hormone, calcitriol and calcitonin play critical roles in the homeostatic regulation of calcium. Serotonin and prolactin have also been shown to be involved in the regulation of calcium homeostasis. In modern dairy cows, the endocrine pathways controlling calcium homeostasis during non-lactating and non-pregnant physiological states are unable to fully support the increased demand of calcium required for milk synthesis at the onset of lactation. This review describes different endocrine systems associated with the regulation of calcium homeostasis in mammalian species around parturition with special focus on dairy cows. Additionally, classic and novel strategies to reduce the incidence of hypocalcemia in parturient dairy cows are discussed.
A new species of the genus Plagiorhynchus Lühe, 1911 from the intestine of the long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) from northern Mexico is described. Plagiorhynchus (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is morphologically distinguished from other congeneric species from the Americas by having a trunk expanded anteriorly and a cylindrical proboscis, armed with 19 longitudinal rows of hooks, with 14–15 hooks each row. Nearly complete sequences of the small subunit and large subunit of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of the new species were determined and compared with available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from the two molecular markers consistently showed that P. (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is closely related to P. (Plagiorhynchus) allisonae, and this clade is sister to a clade formed by P. (Prosthorhynchus) transversus and P. (Prosthorhynchus) cylindraceus from Plagiorhynchidae. The new species represents the second record of the genus in Mexico and the fourth species in the Americas. The phylogenetic relationships among the members of the order Polymorphida in this study provide significant insights into the evolution of ecological associations between parasites and their definitive hosts. Our analyses suggest that the colonization of marine mammals, fish-eating birds and waterfowl in Polymorphidae might have occurred independently, from a common ancestor of Centrorhynchidae and Plagiorhynchidae that colonized terrestrial birds and mammals.
All livestock animal species harbour complex microbial communities throughout their digestive tract that support vital biochemical processes, thus sustaining health and productivity. In part as a consequence of the strong and ancient alliance between the host and its associated microbes, the gut microbiota is also closely related to productivity traits such as feed efficiency. This phenomenon can help researchers and producers develop new and more effective microbiome-based interventions using probiotics, also known as direct-fed microbials (DFMs), in Animal Science. Here, we focus on one type of such beneficial microorganisms, the yeast Saccharomyces. Saccharomyces is one of the most widely used microorganisms as a DFM in livestock operations. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with different species, strains and doses of Saccharomyces (mostly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on gut microbial ecology, health, nutrition and productivity traits of several livestock species. However, the possible existence of Saccharomyces which are indigenous to the animals’ digestive tract has received little attention and has never been the subject of a review. We for the first time provide a comprehensive review, with the objective of shedding light into the possible existence of indigenous Saccharomyces of the digestive tract of livestock. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a nomadic yeast able to survive in a broad range of environments including soil, grass and silages. Therefore, it is very likely that cattle and other animals have been in direct contact with this and other types of Saccharomyces throughout their entire existence. However, to date, the majority of animal scientists seem to agree that the presence of Saccharomyces in any section of the gut only reflects dietary contamination; in other words, these are foreign organisms that are only transiently present in the gut. Importantly, this belief (i.e. that Saccharomyces come solely from the diet) is often not well grounded and does not necessarily hold for all the many other groups of microbes in the gut. In addition to summarizing the current body of literature involving Saccharomyces in the digestive tract, we discuss whether the beneficial effects associated with the consumption of Saccharomyces may be related to its foreign origin, though this concept may not necessarily satisfy the theories that have been proposed to explain probiotic efficacy in vivo. This novel review may prove useful for biomedical scientists and others wishing to improve health and productivity using Saccharomyces and other beneficial microorganisms.
The present study investigated the effects of nutritional programming through parental feeding on offspring performance and expression of selected genes related to stress resistance in a marine teleost. Gilthead seabream broodstock were fed diets containing various fish oil (FO)/vegetable oil ratios to determine their effects on offspring performance along embryogenesis, larval development and juvenile on-growing periods. Increased substitution of dietary FO by linseed oil (LO) up to 80 % LO significantly reduced the total number of eggs produced by kg per female per spawn. Moreover, at 30 d after hatching, parental feeding with increasing LO up to 80 % led to up-regulation of the fatty acyl desaturase 2 gene (fads2) that was correlated with the increase in conversion rates of related PUFA. Besides, cyclo-oxygenase 2 (cox2) and TNF-α (tnf-α) gene expression was also up-regulated by the increase in LO in broodstock diets up to 60 or 80 %, respectively. When 4-month-old offspring were challenged with diets having different levels of FO, the lowest growth was found in juveniles from broodstock fed 100 % FO. An increase in LO levels in the broodstock diet up to 60LO raised LC-PUFA levels in the juveniles, regardless of the juvenile’s diet. The results showed that it is possible to nutritionally programme gilthead seabream offspring through the modification of the fatty acid profiles of parental diets to improve the growth performance of juveniles fed low FO diets, inducing long-term changes in PUFA metabolism with up-regulation of fads2 expression. The present study provided the first pieces of evidence of the up-regulation of immune system-related genes in the offspring of parents fed increased FO replacement by LO.