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Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
This study reports the effects of a high-fat (HF) diet on the iron (Fe) status of growing rats over 8 weeks. Tissue Fe levels were analysed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and whole-body adiposity was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Histopathology and morphometry of adipose tissue were performed. Liver homogenates were used for measuring ferroportin (Fpn)-1 protein levels by immunoblotting, and transcript levels were used for Fe genes measured by real-time PCR. Tissue Fe pools were fit to a compartmental biokinetic model in which Fe was assessed using 14 compartments and 27 transfer constants (kj,i from tissue “i” to tissue “j”) adapted from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 69. Ten kj,i were calculated from the experimental data using nonlinear regression, and 17 were estimated by allometry according to the formula kj,i = a · Mb. Validation of the model was carried out by comparing predicted and analysed Fe pool sizes in red blood cells (RBCs), the liver and the spleen. Body adiposity was negatively associated with serum Fe levels and positively associated with liver Fe stores. An inferred increase in Fe transfer from bone marrow to the liver paralleled higher hepatic Fe concentrations and ferritin heavy-chain mRNA levels in the HF diet-fed animals, suggesting that liver Fe accumulation occurred at least in part due to a favoured liver RBC uptake. If this feeding condition were to be prolonged, impaired Fe decompartmentalization may occur, ultimately resulting in dysmetabolic Fe overload.
Projections of a burgeoning population coupled with global environmental change offer an increasingly dire picture of the state of the world's food security in the not-too-distant future. But how can we transform the current food system to become more sustainable, more equitable and more just? We identify kitchens as sites of transformative innovation in the food system where cooks and chefs can leverage traditional food knowledge about local food species to create delicious and nutritious dishes. Achieving a sustainable food system is a grand challenge, one where cooks in particular are stepping forward as innovators to find solutions.
With still limited information on vitamin requirements and considering that many commercial practices adopt dietary vitamin levels above the values suggested by nutritional tables, this study aimed to assess the effect of administering vitamin supplementation to sows in gestation and lactation and to their litters on the reproductive performance and body condition of the sows and on the performance and immune profile of the litters until slaughter. The trial was split into two phases. The first phase used 104 sows, assigned to be randomized to blocks according to parity, submitted until 21 days of lactation to two treatments: control–standard (standard levels of vitamins) and test–elevated (elevated levels of vitamins). Each sow and its respective farrow were considered an experimental unit. The sows underwent evaluations of body condition score, back fat thickness and reproductive performance. In the second phase, 60 barrows and 60 gilts at 21 days of age and mean initial weight of 5.33 ± 1.5 kg until slaughter at 164 days of age. The piglets were assigned to randomized blocks according to the weight and sex of the animals in a 2 × 2 factorial model, with 10 replicates per treatment, where a pen with three animals represented the experimental unit. Following the same treatments of the first phase, the piglets were evaluated for daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion, mortality rate and humoral immune response. Vitamin supplementation had no positive effects on the reproductive parameters or body composition of sows. However, it positively impacted the performance of the litters in the early nursery stage, but did not lead to superior effects on the immune responses to vaccination against circovirus or mycoplasma.
Cancer diagnosis affects patients, their families, and their caregivers in particular. This study focused on the validation of the CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life (CarGOQoL) questionnaire in Portuguese caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma, from the caregiver's point of view.
This was a cross-sectional study with 146 caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma from outpatient medical oncology and clinical hematology consultations from five hospitals in north and central Portugal. Participants were assessed on quality of life (QoL), psychological morbidity and social support.
The Portuguese version maintains 17 of the original 29 items version, maintaining general coherence and a dimensional structure that is clinically interpretable. Reliability findings indicated good internal consistency for the total scale (0.86) and respective subscales (0.75 to 0.88), which is in agreement with the alpha values from the previous CarGOQoL validation study for the corresponding subscales (0.74 to 0.89) and total scale (0.90).
Significance of results
The CarGOQoL is a reliable and valid tool for clinical trials and intervention programs to assess QoL in caregivers of myeloma patients. Future studies should validate the adapted version in caregivers of other types of cancer patients including other chronic diseases.
Sponges are important components of intertidal marine communities. There is a lack of information about intertidal marine sponge diversity in the western coast of Portugal (North-east Atlantic). In the present work we identified the most common intertidal sponges of the western coast of Portugal, and made a comprehensive list of the intertidal species described so far for this region. Sponges belonging to the Classes Calcarea and Demospongiae were identified, the former class for the first time at these locations. Demospongiae are the most common intertidal sponges, present in all sampling locations. We used an integrative approach for Demospongiae identification, using both morphological and molecular characters. Molecular identification, using a CO1 marker proved to be helpful in the identification to the genus level, despite some limitations, such as difficulty in amplification experienced for sponges as well as non-target organisms. A total of 170 specimens were collected. Seven specimens (five species) belonged to the Class Calcarea and 163 specimens (23 species) to the Class Demospongiae. The demosponge Hymeniacidon perlevis was present at all sample locations. Calcarean species were primarily found in samples taken along the south-western coast.
This study aimed to determine the cutoff and the specificity and sensitivity of the Emotion Thermometers (ET) in a Portuguese sample of cancer patients.
A total of 147 patients (mean age = 49.2; SD = 12.6) completed the ET, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Subjective Experiences of Illness Suffering Inventory. Data were collected in a cancer support institution and in a major hospital in the North of Portugal.
The optimal cutoff for the Anxiety Thermometer was 5v6 (until 5 and 6 or more), which identified 74% of the BSI-anxiety cases and 70% of noncases. The Depression Thermometer cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 85% of BSI-depression cases and 82% of noncases. Cutoff for the Anger Thermometer was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 83% of BSI-hostility cases and 73% of noncases; for the Distress Thermometer, the optimal cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 84% of the suffering cases and 73% of noncases. Finally, for the Help Thermometer, it was 3v4 (until 3 and 4 or more), which helped to identify 93% of the suffering cases and 64% of noncases.
Significance of results
Results supported the Portuguese version of the ET as an important screening tool for identifying the emotional distress in cancer patients.
Vitamins play an essential role in broiler nutrition. They are fundamental for normal metabolic and physiological process, and their requirements for poultry are not fixed and can be affected by multiple factors. In contrast, mycotoxins are a challenging issue because they hinder performance and the immune system. Vitamin supplementation above minimum requirements would permit improvement in productive potential, health, bone and meat quality in a situation of mycotoxin challenge. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of optimum vitamin nutrition in diets contaminated with aflatoxin in broilers from 1 to 44 days of age. A total of 1800 Cobb 500 male chicks were randomized to 15 sets of eight treatment groups, each containing 15 birds using a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design (commercial vitamin levels and high vitamin levels, two levels of aflatoxin – 0 and 0.5 ppm with binder levels of 0 and 10 000 mg/kg). The mash diets were corn and soybean meal based, formulated according to commercial practices. Feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion were analyzed for birds from 1 to 44 days of age. To determine carcass characteristics (carcass yield, breast yield and leg yield) and black bone syndrome, two birds were slaughtered from each group at 45 days. Other analyses included breast tenderness, water loss by dripping and malonaldehyde concentrations. The results demonstrated that broilers that were fed high levels of vitamins showed better weight gain, feed conversion, carcass yield and breast yield than broilers that were fed diets with commercial vitamin levels (P < 0.05); also, broilers that were fed diets containing 0.5 ppm aflatoxin had lower weight gain, carcass yield and breast yield (P < 0.05). The use of 10 000 mg/kg of binder improved (P < 0.05) feed conversion throughout the rearing period. We conclude that aflatoxin negatively affects performance and carcass yield; however, feeding optimum vitamin nutrition improved these performance traits.
The Mangalitza pig breed has suffered strong population reductions due to competition with more productive cosmopolitan breeds. In the current work, we aimed to investigate the effects of this sustained demographic recession on the genomic diversity of Mangalitza pigs. By using the Porcine Single Nucleotid Polymorphism BeadChip, we have characterized the genome-wide diversity of 350 individuals including 45 Red Mangalitza (number of samples; n=20 from Hungary and n=25 from Romania), 37 Blond Mangalitza, 26 Swallow-belly Mangalitza, 48 Blond Mangalitza × Duroc crossbreds, 5 Bazna swine, 143 pigs from the Hampshire, Duroc, Landrace, Large White and Pietrain breeds and 46 wild boars from Romania (n=18) and Hungary (n=28). Performance of a multidimensional scaling plot showed that Landrace, Large White and Pietrain pigs clustered independently from Mangalitza pigs and Romanian and Hungarian wild boars. The number and total length of ROH (runs of homozygosity), as well as FROH coefficients (proportion of the autosomal genome covered ROH) did not show major differences between Mangalitza pigs and other wild and domestic pig populations. However, Romanian and Hungarian Red Mangalitza pigs displayed an increased frequency of very long ROH (>30 Mb) when compared with other porcine breeds. These results indicate that Red Mangalitza pigs underwent recent and strong inbreeding probably as a consequence of severe reductions in census size.
To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the modified Evans blue dye test compared to the fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing to detect aspiration in tracheostomised patients.
This observational accuracy study included 17 patients hospitalised for respiratory complications, subjected to prolonged intubation, and for this reason, tracheostomised.
Mean patient age was 60.2 ± 21.0 years. Aspiration was identified in 10 patients when assessed by fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing; of these, 1 had aspiration when evaluated by modified Evans blue dye test. The dye test had a sensitivity of 10.0 per cent and specificity of 100.0 per cent for detecting aspiration. Fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing revealed no statistically significant associations between aspiration presence and: speech and language therapy duration, intubation time, or tracheostomy plus mechanical ventilation duration.
The modified Evans blue dye test is simple and inexpensive, and does not require prior knowledge in endoscopy; it may be used as an initial screening test in all tracheostomised patients for evaluating aspiration. However, fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing should be used for a more comprehensive diagnosis of tracheostomy patients, especially for those at high risk for aspiration.
Fragmented habitats generally harbour small populations that are potentially more prone to local extinctions caused by biotic factors such as parasites. We evaluated the effects of botflies (Cuterebra apicalis) on naturally fragmented populations of the gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis). We examined how sex, food supplementation experiment, season and daily climatic variables affected body condition and haemoglobin concentration in animals that were parasitized or not by botflies. Although parasitism did not affect body condition, haemoglobin concentrations were lower in parasitized animals. Among the non-parasitized individuals, haemoglobin concentration increased with the increase of maximum temperature and the decrease of relative humidity, a climatic pattern found at the peak of the dry season. However, among parasitized animals, the opposite relationship between haemoglobin concentration and relative humidity occurred, as a consequence of parasite-induced anaemia interacting with dehydration as an additional stressor. We conclude that it is critical to assess how climate affects animal health (through blood parameters) to understand the population consequences of parasitism on the survival of individuals and hence of small population viability.
The fraction of organic matter present affects the fragmentation behavior of sialoliths; thus, pretherapeutic information on the degree of mineralization is relevant for a correct selection of lithotripsy procedures. This work proposes a methodology for in vivo characterization of salivary calculi in the pretherapeutic context. Sialoliths were characterized in detail by X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) in combination with atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Correlative analysis of the same specimens was performed by in vivo and ex vivo helical computed tomography (HCT) and ex vivo μCT. The mineral matter in the sialoliths consisted essentially of apatite (89 vol%) and whitlockite (11 vol%) with average density of 1.8 g/cm3. In hydrated conditions, the mineral mass prevailed with 53 ± 13 wt%, whereas the organic matter, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3, occupied 65 ± 10% of the sialoliths’ volume. A quantitative relation between sialoliths mineral density and X-ray attenuation is proposed for both HCT and μCT.
The first report of the Hirnantia high-latitude peri-Gondwanan Fauna from Portugal (Upper Ordovician, Ribeira do Braçal Formation) is presented here. The described macroassemblages are fairly diverse containing fossils of brachiopods, trilobites, echinoderms, machaeridians, and ostracodes. Among the brachiopods, the most abundant is Mirorthis mira. Plectothyrella cf. P. libyca, Paromalomena cf. P. polonica, Plectoglossa? sp., and a small indeterminate discinoid are also present. The trilobites are represented by abundant sclerites of Mucronaspis cf. M. mucronata, and an isolated cranidium and pygidium assigned to Flexicalymene. The occurrence of Mucronaspis and Flexicalymene represents the first record of these genera in Portugal. Echinoderms are dominant in the basal bed of the formation; the columnal plates tentatively ascribed to morphogenus Pentagonocyclicus are the most abundant, followed by the echinosphaeritids. Abundant disarticulated machaeridian plates, of the genus Plumulites, associated with trilobites are present in one of the localities. Ostracodes were found in one single locality and have been assigned tentatively to the genus Herrigia. Ramose and massive bryozoans also occur in the assemblage. This new macrofossil assemblage supports the assignment of an Hirnantian age for the Ribeira do Braçal Formation. Most of the brachiopod species and the dalmanitid Mucronaspis are commonly present in Hirnantian deposits globally, but the presence in the assemblage of a brachiopod close to Plectothyrella libyca, a cold-water species, previously reported only from the Hirnantian of Libya and Morocco, is noticeable. This strengthens the case for a high latitudinal setting of the present-day territory of the Portuguese Central Iberian Zone during the Late Ordovician.
Hepatocytes constitute the majority of hepatic cells, and play a key role in controlling systemic innate immunity, via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and by synthesizing complement and acute phase proteins. Leishmania infantum, a protozoan parasite that causes human and canine leishmaniasis, infects liver by establishing inside the Kupffer cells. The current study proposes the elucidation of the immune response generated by dog hepatocytes when exposed to L. infantum. Additionally, the impact of adding leishmanicidal compound, meglumine antimoniate (MgA), to parasite-exposed hepatocytes was also addressed. L. infantum presents a high tropism to hepatocytes, establishing strong membrane interactions. The possibility of L. infantum internalization by hepatocytes was raised, but not confirmed. Hepatocytes were able to recognize parasite presence, inducing PRRs [nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)1, NOD2 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)2] gene expression and generating a mix pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine response. Reduction of cytochrome P 450s enzyme activity was also observed concomitant with the inflammatory response. Addition of MgA increased NOD2, TLR4 and interleukin 10 gene expression, indicating an immunomodulatory role for MgA. Hepatocytes seem to have a major role in coordinating liver's innate immune response against L. infantum infection, activating inflammatory mechanisms, but always balancing the inflammatory response in order to avoid cell damage.
Although pregnancy increases the vulnerability to anxiety, no specific assessment instruments are usually used to detect it. The objective of this study was to adapt the Pregnancy Related Anxiety Questionnaire (PRAQ) to Spanish population, as well as analyze its validity and reliability. A sample of 367 nulliparous pregnant women with a normal risk status filled in a socio-demographic and obstetric-gynaecological questionnaire, the PRAQ, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). After performing a factorial analysis, a five-factor model that explains 53.1% of the variance was obtained. Estimates of internal consistency reliability were adequate (range = .78 to .93) for the five factors included in the final confirmatory factor analysis, and for the total scale (.97). Significant correlation among PRAQ, EPDS, and STAI was found (p < .001). The 85th percentile (score 234 or more) was used as a cut-off point to identify those women with high pregnancy-specific anxiety. In accordance with the results obtained, the PRAQ can be considered a useful screening tool to evaluate pregnancy-related anxiety among the Spanish population.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
Twenty one years ago, the discovery of the giant magnetocaloric effect (GMCE) at room temperature completely revolutionized the magnetocaloric materials field demonstrating the potential of magnetic refrigeration at room temperature and setting the beginning of a race for the best magnetocaloric material. Since then, hundreds of different bulk magnetic materials were studied in detail; however, only a small set of these exhibit GMCE. In the last ten years, the broad interest on these materials leads to the extension of their study to the micro- and nanoscale. In this review, we highlight the main motivations for exploring the size-reduction both from the technological and the purely scientific point of view and stress the general consequences on the magnetic and magnetocaloric properties. The emergence of different underlying mechanisms driving these effects will be identified with particular emphasis for the set of materials presenting GMCE.
Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
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.