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The authors prepared a micro-structured, thermosensitive hydrogel with N-isopropylacrylamide microgels with a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32 °C dispersed on a matrix of N-isopropylacrylamide-co-dimethylacrylamide with an LCST at 40 °C. Incubation of the hydrogel at 33 °C in a solution of fluorescein-albumin induced loading of the protein. The protein was not loaded at a temperature below the LCST of the microgels (4 °C), suggesting that the shrinkage of the microgels followed by the formation of micropores within the hydrogel matrix is a prerequisite for protein loading. A sustained and complete release of the loaded protein was obtained at 37 °C.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
The objective of this study was to compare the prediction efficiency of IgG concentration in bovine colostrum by NIRS, using liquid and dried (Dry-Extract Spectroscopy for Infrared Reflectance, DESIR) samples by transflectance and reflectance modes, respectively. Colostrum samples (157), obtained from 2 commercial Holstein dairy farms, were collected within the first hour after calving and kept at −20 °C until analysis. After thawing and homogenisation, a subsample of 500 mg of liquid colostrum was placed in an aluminium mirror transflectance cell (0·1 mm path length), in duplicate, to collect the spectrum. A glass fiber filter disc was infused with another subsample of 500 mg of colostrum, in duplicate, and dried in a forced-air oven at 60 °C for 20 min. The samples were placed in cells for dry samples to collect the spectra. The spectra in the VIS-NIR region (400–2500 nm) were obtained with a NIRSystems 6500 monochromator. Mathematical treatments, scatter correction treatments and number of cross-validation groups were tested to obtain prediction equations for both techniques. Reference analysis for IgG content was performed by radial immunodiffusion. The DESIR technique showed a higher variation in the spectral regions associated with water absorption bands, compared with liquid samples. The best equation for transflectance method (liquid samples) obtained a higher coefficient of determination for calibration (0·95 vs. 0·94, respectively) and cross validation (0·94 vs. 0·91, respectively), and a lower error of cross validation (9·03 vs. 11·5, respectively) than the best equation for reflectance method (DESIR samples). In final, both methods showed excellent capacity for quantitative analysis, with residual predictive deviations above 3. It is concluded that, regarding accuracy of prediction and time for obtaining results of IgG from bovine colostrum, NIRS analysis of liquid samples (transflectance) is recommended over dried samples (DESIR technique by reflectance).
Twenty four French Alpine goats (39 ± 2·0 kg) were individually housed in a completely randomized design and fed a basal diet containing 146 g crude protein and 356 g neutral detergent fibre (NDF)/kg in the absence (control – CTRL) or presence (CELL) of 2 ml of cellulase/kg dry matter intake (DMI) for 70 days, which included a 10-day adaptation period. The feed was offered three times daily at 07·00, 13·00 and 19·00 h, but the single daily dose of cellulase was only fed at 07·00 h. Goats were hand-milked daily; milk production recorded and samples taken for compositional analysis. During the last 5 days of the experimental period, goats from each group were individually housed in stainless steel metabolic cages to enable separate and total collection of faeces and urine for nutrient digestibility and ruminal fermentation determinations. Goats fed CELL had greater DMI and greater digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter and NDF than CTRL goats. CELL goats had greater ruminal pH, concentration of acetic acid and concentration of propionic acid than CTRL goats. However, the concentration of ruminal butyric was lower in CELL goats compared with CTRL goats. CELL goats had greater milk yield, energy corrected milk, milk energy content, milk energy output and milk density than CTRL goats and the milk content for total solids, fat, protein and lactose were also greater for CELL goats than for the CTRL goats. The milk of CELL goats had greater palmitoleic acid, cis-10-heptadecanoic acid content and mono-saturated acids than the milk of CTRL goats and lower linoleic acid, linolenic acid contents and saturated fatty acids than the milk of CTRL goats. These results suggest that addition of 2 ml cellulase/kg DM of feed in the diet of lactating French Alpine goats elevated their milk production and improved its composition probably due to improved feed utilization.
Sixteen Suffolk lambs with 29 ± 2·0 kg body weight were housed in individual cages for 60 days and allotted to four treatments in a completely randomized design to determine the effect of administration of Salix babylonica (SB) extract and/or exogenous enzymes (ZADO®) on lamb performance. Lambs were fed with 300 g/kg concentrate (160 g crude protein (CP)/kg, 13·4 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)/kg dry matter (DM)) and 700 g/kg maize silage (80 g/kg CP, 11·7 MJ ME/kg DM) as a basal diet (control). Another three treatments were tested; the SB extract was administered at 30 ml/day (SB) and exogenous enzymes ZADO® (i.e. an exogenous enzyme cocktail in a powder form) directly fed at 10 g/day (EZ), while the last treatment contained ZADO® at 10 g/day + SB extract at 30 ml/day (EZSB). Lambs of the treatment EZSB had the greatest average daily weight gain (ADG) and feed conversion throughout the period of the experiment. However, during the first 30 days SB was more effective for ADG than EZ and vice versa during the last 30 days of the experiment. Water consumption was greater for SB, followed by EZ and EZSB compared to the control. Intakes of DM and organic matter (OM) were the highest in EZSB followed by EZ, which had the greatest neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre (ADF) and nitrogen (N) intakes. The EZSB treatment had the greatest DM and OM digestibilities compared to the other treatments; however, SB had the greatest ADF digestibility. Combination of EZ and SB had the best N balance. Allantoin, total purine derivatives (PD), allantoin : -creatinine ratio, and PD : creatinine ratio were increased in EZSB compared to the other treatments. However, EZ supplementation increased uric acid concentration, whereas the microbial N (g N/day) and metabolizable protein (g N/day) were increased in EZSB versus the other treatments. It can be concluded that addition of 10 g ZADO® in combination with S. babylonica extract at 30 ml/day in the diet of lambs increased feed intake, nutrient digestibility and daily gain, with a positive impact on the use of N and microbial protein synthesis.
Maternal milk is the first source of exogenous polyamines for the newborn. Polyamines modulate gut maturation in neonates, but no studies are available on polyamine concentration in human milk of preterm babies, even though they could be important for their immature gut. The present study aimed to determine polyamine concentration in human breast milk of mothers with preterm or term infants during the first month of lactation. Human milk samples were obtained during the first month of lactation from twenty-seven mothers with preterm babies and twelve mothers with babies born at term. The polyamine concentration in human milk was quantified by HPLC. During the first month of lactation, the total polyamine concentration was significantly higher in preterm milk than in term milk samples (7590 (sd 4990) v. 4660 (sd 4830) nmol/l, respectively (P =0·034)), as well as individual polyamine concentrations. Polyamine concentration in mature milk for preterm babies was significantly higher than that in mature milk for babies at term, and a similar trend was observed in colostrum and transition human milk. The spermidine/spermine ratio was higher in transition milk in preterm v. term samples, while in mature milk, the ratio was significantly lower in preterm than in term babies. In conclusion, the polyamine concentration was significantly higher in human milk for preterm than for term infants. This and the different spermidine/spermine ratios could influence the gut development of premature babies.
Weed composition may vary because of natural environment, management practices, and their interactions. In this study we presented a systematic approach for analyzing the relative importance of environmental and management factors on weed composition of the most conspicuous species in sugarcane. A data-mining approach represented by k-means cluster and classification and regression trees (CART) were used for analyzing the 11 most frequent weeds recorded in sugarcane cropping systems of northern Argentina. Data of weed abundance and explanatory factors contained records from 1976 sugarcane fields over 2 consecutive years. The k-means method selected five different weed clusters. One cluster contained 44% of the data and exhibited the lowest overall weed abundance. The other four clusters were dominated by three perennial species, bermudagrass, johnsongrass, and purple nutsedge, and the annual itchgrass. The CART model was able to explain 44% of the sugarcane's weed composition variability. Four of the five clusters were represented in the terminal nodes of the final CART model. Sugarcane burning before harvesting was the first factor selected in the CART, and all nodes resulting from this split were characterized by low abundance of weeds. Regarding the predictive power of the variables, rainfall and the genotype identity were the most important predictors. These results have management implications as they indicate that the genotype identity would be a more important factor than crop age when designing sugarcane weed management. Moreover, the abiotic control of crop–weed interaction would be more related to rainfall than the environmental heterogeneity related to soil type, for example soil fertility. Although all these exploratory patterns resulting from the CART data-mining procedure should be refined, it became clear that this information may be used to develop an experimental framework to study the factors driving weed assembly.
In this work we study the elastic-plastic transition of the spatially extended polycrystalline austenitic stainless steel 304 (SEPC-ASS-304) advanced materials during an irreversible deformation process. Such transition was characterized by means of the fractal dimension computed of a sequence of digital images of the mesostructure of the SEPC-ASS-304 surface, obtained during the elastic-plastic transition. Our results show a correlation between the fractal dimension and the evolution of the granular flow during the deformation of such advanced material.
We propose embedded microsensors to investigate the mechanical stress in copper damascene lines in a standard CMOS microelectronic technology. Those sensors are based on silicon piezoresistive effect where strain in the active silicon is induced by orientated copper lines. The challenge is to correlate the electrical sensors signal directly to stress variation in lines.
We have performed electrical measurements of the structures as a function of temperature. A coupled analytical and Finite Element thermomechanical Model of the structure was developed and a good agreement with measurements was obtained.
This investigation analyzed the effect of reactant particle size on the stress development characteristics of NiAl synthesized through self-propagating high temperature synthesis. Four sample combinations of NiAl were synthesized based on initial particle diameters of the reactants: (i) 10 μm Al and 10 μm Ni (S1), (ii) 10 μm Al and 100 nm Ni (S2), (iii) 50 nm Al and 10 μm Ni (S3), and (iv) 50 nm Al and 100 nm Ni (S4). Characterization of NiAl was performed by parallel comparison of the distribution of residual stresses of the samples prior to and after the reaction. Residual stresses were quantified using x-ray diffraction. Upon characterization it was found that combinations S1, S2, and S3 exhibited tensile residual stresses, while combination S4 exhibited compressive residual stresses. Statistical analysis confirmed that self-propagating high temperature synthesis products derived from nanoparticle reactant sizes exhibited compressive residual stresses offering improved fatigue resistance in composite production.
A new analitycally approximated interior metric for a stationary compact perfect fluid with
equation of state µ+(1–n)p = µ0 is presented. Also, it is concluded that an object of this kind
can be a source of Wahlquist's metric.
We construct an approximate asymptotically flat stationary and axisymmetric vacuum metric by imposing matching conditions on an interior metric associated to a perfect fluid with equation of state µ+(1–n)p = µ0. A comparison between this vacuum metric and the Kerr one is made. Finally, a brief reflexion about the Wahlquist metric is commented in relation with our results.
At the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP7), about 70 people attended the workshop on workload and conditioning guided by the authors. Most of the audience were involved in Thoroughbred or Standardbred racing, and only a limited number of people were mainly involved in FEI equestrian disciplines (sport horses). The workshop and this review article address the measurement of workload and conditioning of the Thoroughbred racehorse. It was proposed that workload could be quantified using a few selected parameters commonly recorded in the racing industries, such as velocity and distance, to generate a cumulative workload index. The review of conditioning focuses on the Thoroughbred racehorse and examines what can be modified with training, how training programmes should be designed based upon scientific methods and how training programmes should be routinely designed in current practice. It would appear that, in general, the methods used in practice for training Thoroughbred racehorses are quite similar to those used in a set of recent scientific studies, particularly in young (2–3-years-old) Thoroughbreds. Nevertheless, both the length of the training programme and the total amount of exercise are usually shorter/lower than ideal in order to maximize physiological adaptations within the animal's body. In planning the training programme, it is very important to recognize that different adaptations occur at different rates, and this will affect the relative amount of training that should be applied to achieve specific adaptations.