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The maximisation of control power is considered for an aircraft with multiple control surfaces, with the force and moment coefficients specified by polynomials of the control surface deflections of degree two. The optimal deflections, which maximise and minimise any force or moment coefficient, are determined subject to constraints on the range of deflection of each control surface. The results are applied to a flying wing configuration to determine: (i/ii) the pitch trim, at the lowest drag for the fastest climb, and at the highest drag for the steepest descent; (iii) the maximum and minimum pitching moment; (iv) the maximum and minimum yaw control power and the fraction needed to compensate an outboard engine failure for several propulsion configurations; (v) the maximum and minimum rolling moment. The optimal use of all control surfaces has significant advantages over using just one, e.g. the range of drag modulation with pitch trim is much wider and the maximum and minimum available control moments larger.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Agents that block the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) improve glucoregulation in the metabolic syndrome disorder. We evaluated the effects of egg white hydrolysate (EWH), previously shown to modulate the protein abundance of RAS component in vivo, on glucose homeostasis in diet-induced insulin-resistant rats. Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks to induce insulin resistance. They were then randomly divided into four groups receiving HFD or HFD supplemented with different concentrations of EWH (1, 2 and 4 %) for another 6 weeks in the first trial. In the second trial, insulin-resistant rats were divided into two groups receiving only HFD or HFD+4 % EWH for 6 weeks. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Insulin signalling and protein abundance of RAS components, gluconeogenesis enzymes and PPARγ were evaluated in muscle, fat and liver. Adipocyte morphology and inflammatory markers were evaluated. In vivo administration of EWH increased insulin sensitivity, improved oral glucose tolerance (P < 0·0001) and reduced systemic inflammation (P < 0·05). EWH potentiated insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in muscle (P = 0·0341) and adipose tissue (P = 0·0276), but minimal differences in the protein abundance of tissue RAS components between the EWH and control groups were observed. EWH treatment also reduced adipocyte size (P = 0·0383) and increased PPARγ2 protein abundance (P = 0·0237). EWH treatment yielded positive effects on the inflammatory profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and adipocyte differentiation in HFD-induced insulin resistance rats. The involvement of local RAS activity requires further investigation.
Advanced courses in Applied Crystallography for Nanosciences are not often delivered in Academia and, consequently, require the organization of events specifically tailored to PhD students, postdocs, and young researchers at the very beginning of their scientific careers.
The objective of this study was to determine the serotype distribution and antibiotic resistance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) strains in children from Lima, Peru, before and after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), which was introduced in the national immunisation program on 2009. We conducted a prospective, multicentre, passive surveillance IPD study during 2006–2008 and 2009–2011, before and right after the introduction of PCV7 in Peru. The study was performed in 11 hospitals and five private laboratories in Lima, Peru, in patients <18 years old, with sterile site cultures yielding Streptococcus pneumoniae. In total 159 S. pneumoniae isolates were recovered. There was a decrease in the incidence of IPD in children <2 years old after the introduction of PCV7 (18.4/100 000 vs. 5.1/100 000, P = 0.004). Meningitis cases decreased significantly in the second period (P = 0.036) as well as the overall case fatality rate (P = 0.025), including a decreased case fatality rate of pneumonia (16.3% to 0%, P = 0.04). PCV7 serotypes showed a downward trend. Vaccine-preventable serotypes caused 78.9% of IPD cases, mainly 14, 6B, 5, 19F and 23F. A non-significant increase in erythromycin resistance was reported. Our findings suggest that the introduction of PCV7 led to a significant decrease of IPD in children under 2 years old and in the overall case fatality rate.
Environmental factors during perinatal life can lead to changes in the mammary gland, making it susceptible to cancer in adulthood. Breastfeeding has a special importance since it takes place at a critical period of growth and development of the newborn. We aimed to analyze if an appropriate lactation protects the offspring against mammary carcinogenesis during adult life and explore the mechanisms involved in the protective effect. One-day-old Sprague-Dawley female rats were randomly distributed in litters of three (L3), eight (L8) or 12 (L12) pups per dam, to induce a differential consumption of breast milk. At 55 days of age, the animals were treated with a single dose of dimethylbenzanthracene to study tumor latency, incidence and progression. Histological, immunohistochemical and Western blot studies were performed. We observed lower incidence and higher latency in L3 compared to the other groups. The mitotic index and expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was significantly augmented in tumors of L12 rats compared to L3 and L8, while the apoptotic index was augmented in tumors of L3 v. L12. Cleaved caspase 8 was significantly higher in tumors from L3 compared to L12. Tumors developed in L3 have a greater number of apoptotic bodies and a greater expression of caspase 8. These results demonstrate that the animals that maintained a higher intake of maternal milk (L3) presented lower incidence and greater tumor latency. Lower consumption of breast milk (L12) would increase tumor mitosis and the expression of PCNA, explaining the higher tumor incidence observed in this group.
Determining the effects of light pollution on tropical bat communities is important for understanding community assembly rules in urban areas. Studies from temperate regions suggest that, among aerial insectivorous bats, fast-flying species that forage in the open are attracted to artificial lights, whereas slow-flying species that forage in cluttered environments avoid those lights. We measured aerial insectivore responses to light pollution in a tropical cloud forest to test this hypothesis. Bat echolocation was recorded at 20 pairs of light and dark sites in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Foraging activity was higher at artificially lighted sites than dark sites near the new moon, especially around blue-white fluorescent lighting. Most recorded bat species showed increased or unchanged activity in response to light, including some slow-flying and edge-foraging bats. This finding suggests that, contrary to the evaluated hypothesis, flight speed and foraging mode are not sufficient to determine bat responses to artificial lights in the tropics. Two bat species showed decreased activity at light sites, and a low species evenness was recorded around lights, particularly fluorescent lights, compared with dark sites. As in the temperate zone, light pollution in the tropics seems to concentrate certain bat species around human-inhabited areas, potentially shifting community structure.
Non-decorticated sunflower meal (SFM) is a potential protein source for dairy cows with high-fibre content but high ruminal degradability. The effect of replacement of soybean meal (SBM) and wheat middlings (WM) with SFM on the intake, digestibility, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen utilization and milk production of dairy cows was evaluated. Twelve Holstein cows were blocked by days in milk and distributed in three 4 × 4 Latin squares. Diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous and contained 550 g maize silage/kg dry matter (DM). Treatment diets were no SFM (CON) or 70, 140 and 210 g/kg DM of SFM replacing fixed mixture of SBM and WM (536 and 464 g/kg of the mixture, respectively). The inclusion of SFM in diet did not affect DM intake, but intake of rumen degradable protein increased linearly. Inclusion of SFM reduced or tended to reduce total-tract digestibility of non-fibre carbohydrate, total digestible nutrients and excretion of purine derivatives. Milk production, milk protein content and efficiency of nitrogen use for lactation were reduced with increasing levels of SFM in the diet. The use of non-decorticated SFM as a replacement for SBM–WM mixture in diet reduces performance and efficiency of nutrient use in lactating dairy cows. The outcome of the current study is attributed to reduced fibre digestibility in SFM hulls. Therefore, future studies should evaluate the use of decorticated SFM.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether dietary reduction and sex class affect nutrient intake, digestibility, purine derivative (PD) excretion and heat tolerance coefficient in lambs. Thirty-five hair lambs (14.5 ± 0.89 kg initial body weight (BW), 2 months old) were used in a completely randomized study with a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, three sex classes (11 intact males, 12 castrated males and 12 females) and three levels of feeding (ad libitum, 300 and 600 g/kg/dry matter (DM) feed restriction) for 120 days. Intact and castrated males showed higher intakes of DM and neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) than females. At 300 g/kg/DM feed restriction, NDFap digestibility was lower in intact males than in other classes; however, no differences were found between classes when subjected to ad libitum feeding or 600 g/kg/DM. The basal endogenous nitrogen and endogenous urinary losses were highest in intact males. Allantoin, uric acid and PD excretion, as well as PD absorption and microbial protein production were lowest in the animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. Microbial protein synthesis (MPS) was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The lowest temperatures were observed in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The heat tolerance coefficient was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. In conclusion, feed restriction reduced the time spent on feeding and rumination but increased the digestibility of DM. The restriction level of 600 g/kg/DM maximized MPS and infrared thermography indicated an elevated heat tolerance coefficient.
The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effects of sugarcane and maize silage mixture v. maize silage in diets of Holstein cows and investigate performance under two environmental conditions. The cows were placed in freestalls, with individuals and stalls assigned to one of four treatments according to a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with 20-day periods divided into 11 days of adaptation (wash-out period) and 9 days of collection. Treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design: total diets (maize silage (MS-based diet), the roughage mixture (RM-based diet, sugarcane : maize silage, 500 : 500 g/kg DM) plus concentrate); environmental conditions (with (W) and without (Wo) fan and nebulizers); and measurement times (09.40 and 14.00 h). The temperature and relative humidity was higher at 14.00 h and contributed to increased temperature-humidity index (76.6, W v. 75.9, Wo). Feed dry matter intake (DMI) was similar between diets (20.2 kg/day), but milk production and feed efficiency were lower with RM. Under W conditions, higher fat content and total solids of milk were observed with the RM-based diet, while crude protein and lactose were higher with MS. The Wo conditions increased body surface temperature (BS) in cows fed MS. The rectal temperature (RT) was higher with RM. The BS, RT and respiratory rate were higher at 14.00 h (34.9, 38.6 °C and 58.2 breaths/min) than at 09.40 h. The RM-based diet maintained DMI and milk composition, but not milk production. The use of the cooling system led to higher DMI and feed N efficiency use.
Planning paths that are length or time optimized or both is an age-long problem for which numerous approaches have been proposed with varied degree of success depending on the imposed constraints. Among classical instances in the literature, the Traveling Salesman Problem and the Vehicle Routing Problem have been widely studied and frequently considered in the realm of mobile robotics. Understandably, the classical formulation for such problems do not take into account many different issues that arise in real-world scenarios, such as motion constraints and dynamic environments, commonly found in actual robotic systems, and consequently the solutions have been generalized in several ways. In this work, we present a broad and comprehensive review of the classical works and recent breakthroughs regarding the routing techniques ordinarily used in robotic systems and provide references to the most fundamental works in the literature.
The aim of this study was to establish a functional freezing–thawing protocol for epididymal sperm of collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu L., 1758) by comparing different extenders. The epididymal sperm from 12 sexually mature males was recovered by retrograde flushing using Tris-based or coconut water-based (ACP®-116c) extenders. After initial evaluation, samples were diluted and frozen with the same extenders to which 20% egg yolk and 6% glycerol were added. After 2 weeks, thawing was performed at 37°C/60 s and sperm motility, vigour, morphology, functional membrane integrity, sperm viability, sperm plasma membrane integrity, and a computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) were assessed. In addition, to evaluate the survival of frozen–thawed sperm, a thermal resistance test (TRT) was executed. Samples preserved using Tris were in better condition compared with those preserved using ACP®, showing higher values for most assessments performed, including CASA and the TRT (P<0.05). After determining Tris to be the better of the two extenders, additional samples were thawed using different thawing rates (37°C/60 s, 55°C/7 s, 70°C/8 s). Sperm thawed at 37°C/60 s had the greatest preservation (P<0.05) of viability (54.1 ± 5.9%) and functional membrane integrity (43.2 ± 5.4%), and had higher values for various CASA parameters. In conclusion, we suggest the use of a Tris-based extender added to egg yolk and glycerol for the cryopreservation of epididymal sperm obtained from collared peccaries. In order to achieve better post-thawing sperm quality, we suggest that samples should be thawed at 37°C/60 s.
Objective: Perceived upright depends on three main factors: vision, graviception, and the internal representation of the long axis of the body. We assessed the relative contributions of these factors in individuals with sub-acute and chronic stroke and controls using a novel tool; the Oriented Character Recognition Test (OCHART). We also considered whether individuals who displayed active pushing or had a history of pushing behaviours had different weightings than those with no signs of pushing. Method: Three participants experienced a stroke <3 months before the experiment: one with active pushing. In total, 14 participants experienced a stroke >6 months prior: eight with a history of pushing. In total, 12 participants served as healthy aged-matched controls. Visual and graviceptive cues were dissociated by orienting the visual background left, right, or upright relative to the body, or by orienting the body left, right, or upright relative to gravity. A three-vector model was used to quantify the weightings of vision, graviception, and the body to the perceptual upright. Results: The control group showed weightings of 13% vision, 25% graviception, and 62% body. Some individuals with stroke showed a similar pattern; others, particularly those with recent stroke, showed different patterns, for example, being unaffected by one of the three factors. The participant with active pushing behaviour displayed an ipsilesional perceptual bias (>30°) and was not affected by visual cues to upright. Conclusion: The results of OCHART may be used to quantify the weightings of multisensory inputs in individuals post-stroke and may help characterize perceptual sources of pushing behaviours.
To assess counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in nasal polyps of adults with or without long-term exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke.
Twenty-two patients with and 22 patients without exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke participated in the study. After endoscopic polypectomy, the fragments of the nasal polyps were analysed by immunohistochemistry.
Compared to patients with no exposure, patients with exposure showed higher counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (t-test, p < 0.05). However, in patients with no exposure, multivariate analysis showed gender dimorphism, with lower counts in males than in females, and no influence from other variables (analysis of covariance, p > 0.05).
Exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke may induce increased counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in nasal polyps of adults, with lower counts in males than females without exposure to tobacco smoke.
Habitat modification may facilitate the emergence of novel pathogens, and the expansion of agricultural frontiers make domestic animals important sources of pathogen spillover to wild animals. We demonstrate for the first time that Plasmodium juxtanucleare, a widespread parasite from domestic chickens, naturally infects free-living passerines. We sampled 68 wild birds within and at the border of conservation units in central Brazil composed by Cerrado, a highly threatened biome. Seven out of 10 passerines captured in the limits of a protected area with a small farm were infected by P. juxtanucleare as was confirmed by sequencing a fragment of the parasite's cytochrome b. Blood smears from these positive passerines presented trophozoites, meronts and gametocytes compatible with P. juxtanucleare, meaning these birds are competent hosts for this parasite. After these intriguing results, we sampled 30 backyard chickens managed at the area where P. juxtanucleare-infected passerines were captured, revealing one chicken infected by the same parasite lineage. We sequenced the almost complete mitochondrial genome from all positive passerines, revealing that Brazilian and Asian parasites are closely related. P. juxtanucleare can be lethal to non-domestic hosts under captive and rehabilitation conditions, suggesting that this novel spillover may pose a real threat to wild birds.
Minerals are limiting factors in animal production, and the knowledge of mineral requirements for livestock is crucial to the success of a commercial enterprise. Hair sheep may have different mineral requirements than those presents by the international committees. A study was carried to evaluate the net calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu) requirements for the growth and maintenance of Brazilian Somali lambs. A total of 48 hair lambs (13.5±1.8 kg) aged 60±15 days were allocated to individual pens. Eight animals were slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to serve as a reference group to estimate initial empty BW (EBW) and initial body composition. The remaining lambs (n=40) were assigned to a completely randomized design with eight replications in five levels of metabolizable energy (ME; 4.93, 8.65, 9.41, 10.12 and 11.24 MJ/kg DM). When the lambs of a given treatment reached an average BW of 28 kg, they were slaughtered. Initial body composition was used to calculate the retention of minerals. Mineral body composition was fit using a logarithmic equation in the form of a nonlinear model. The maintenance requirements were estimated from regressions of mineral retention in the empty body on mineral intake. The body mineral concentration decreased in lambs with a BW ranging from 15 to 30 kg. The net mineral requirements (100 g/day of average daily gain (ADG)) decreased from 0.52 to 0.51 g for Ca, 0.28 to 0.23 g for P, 0.02 to 0.02 g for Mg, 0.09 to 0.08 g for Na, 0.11 to 0.09 g for K, 1.30 to 1.08 mg for Zn, 3.77 to 3.22 mg for Fe, 0.08 to 0.06 mg for Mn and 0.09 to 0.08 mg for Cu when BW increased from 15 to 30 kg. The daily net requirements for maintenance per kilogram of BW were 30.13 mg of Ca, 27.58 mg of P, 1.26 mg of Mg, 4.12 mg of Na, 8.11 mg of K, 0.133 mg of Zn, 0.271 mg of Fe, 0.002 mg of Mn and 0.014 mg of Cu. The results of this study indicate that the net mineral requirements for weight gain and maintenance in Brazilian Somali lambs are different than the values that are commonly recommended by the main evaluation systems for feed and nutritional requirements for sheep. These results for the nutritional requirements of minerals may help to optimize mineral supply for hair sheep.
The field of robotics has received significant attention in our society due to the extensive use of robotic manipulators; however, recent advances in the research on autonomous vehicles have demonstrated a broader range of applications, such as exploration, surveillance, and environmental monitoring. In this sense, the problem of efficiently building a model of the environment using cooperative mobile robots is critical. Finding routes that are either length or time-optimized is essential for real-world applications of small autonomous robots. This paper addresses the problem of multi-robot area coverage path planning for geophysical surveys. Such surveys have many applications in mineral exploration, geology, archeology, and oceanography, among other fields. We propose a methodology that segments the environment into hexagonal cells and allocates groups of robots to different clusters of non-obstructed cells to acquire data. Cells can be covered by lawnmower, square or centroid patterns with specific configurations to address the constraints of magneto-metric surveys. Several trials were executed in a simulated environment, and a statistical investigation of the results is provided. We also report the results of experiments that were performed with real Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in an outdoor setting.
Here we evaluated the effect of fermented milk supplemented with whey protein (approximately 80 % protein), probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB12) and pomegranate juice (Punica granatum L.) on the physical performance, intestinal motility and villi structure, inflammatory markers and intestinal microbiota of rats under high-intensity acute exercise. In all, twenty-four Wistar rats were separated into groups: control (Ctrl), supplemented (Supp), exercised (Exe) and exercised and supplemented (Exe+Supp). Rats in the Supp groups received fermented milk during 6 weeks by oral administration. At the end of the supplementation period, the Exe groups were submitted to high-intensity acute exercise on a treadmill. We found that intense acute exercise caused changes in the intestinal villi interspace, changes in the proportion of Lactobacillus species and an increase in Clostridium species, as well as a decrease in intestinal motility. Supplementation increased intestinal motility, and maintained the intestinal villi interspace and the natural microbiota proportions of the exercised rats. Physical performance was not improved by fermented milk supplementation. We conclude that the fermented milk containing whey protein, B. animalis (BB12) and pomegranate juice can re-establish intestinal microbiota and protect the animals from the undesirable effects of intense acute exercise.