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One of the most debated topics in pig production is the need to study, understand and change the production system in order to improve nutrient efficiency, becoming more environmentally friendly. The nitrogen excretion has highly deleterious effects on the environment, and it is necessary to develop tools that help to reduce the excretion of this compound without compromising productivity. Therefore, two models were generated to estimate the efficiency of weight gain in relation to excreted nitrogen in post-weaning piglets. Data for testing these models were obtained from previous master and PhD studies carried out at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Animal Science Laboratory using piglets in the post-weaning phase with results for performance and digestibility. The database that was constructed was composed of raw data from 10 studies carried out between 2000 and 2016, on a total of 726 piglets weaned at ages between 17 and 28 days, and to which 62 different treatments were applied. An exploratory analysis of the data was done by evaluating scatter plots and histograms, and variables representing different treatments were used in a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, with the F-test used as the selection criterion. Two models were generated that either considered the nitrogen retained or not, to estimate the ratio between weight gain and excreted nitrogen using generalized linear model procedure. The authors analyzed the behavior of each variable to evaluate whether the equation generated was biologically coherent. Weight gain, dry matter intake, nitrogen intake, metabolizable energy intake, retained nitrogen and urinary nitrogen were all significant (P<0.001) variables in model I, and in model II the variable fecal nitrogen was also included. The models had high coefficients of determination (R2 of model I and II were 0.9013 and 0.8271, respectively), and the nitrogen ingested variable was the one that most strongly influenced growth efficiency. When the retained nitrogen variable was removed from the model, there was a reduction in the fit of the equations. It was possible to conclude that both of the two models generated could be applied and the amount of nitrogen ingested had the greatest influence on growth efficiency related to nitrogen excretion.
We assessed whether paternal demographic, anthropometric and clinical factors influence the risk of an infant being born large-for-gestational-age (LGA). We examined the data on 3659 fathers of term offspring (including 662 LGA infants) born to primiparous women from Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE). LGA was defined as birth weight >90th centile as per INTERGROWTH 21st standards, with reference group being infants ⩽90th centile. Associations between paternal factors and likelihood of an LGA infant were examined using univariable and multivariable models. Men who fathered LGA babies were 180 g heavier at birth (P<0.001) and were more likely to have been born macrosomic (P<0.001) than those whose infants were not LGA. Fathers of LGA infants were 2.1 cm taller (P<0.001), 2.8 kg heavier (P<0.001) and had similar body mass index (BMI). In multivariable models, increasing paternal birth weight and height were independently associated with greater odds of having an LGA infant, irrespective of maternal factors. One unit increase in paternal BMI was associated with 2.9% greater odds of having an LGA boy but not girl; however, this association disappeared after adjustment for maternal BMI. There were no associations between paternal demographic factors or clinical history and infant LGA. In conclusion, fathers who were heavier at birth and were taller were more likely to have an LGA infant, but maternal BMI had a dominant influence on LGA.
EPA (20 : 5n-3) and DHA (22 : 6n-3) fatty acids have weight-reducing properties with physiological activity depending on their molecular structure – that is, as TAG or ethyl esters (EE). Aquaporins (AQP) are membrane protein channels recognised as important players in fat metabolism, but their differential expression in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT), as well as their modulation by dietary n-3 long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) such as EPA and DHA, has never been investigated. In this study, the transcriptional profiles of AQP3, AQP5, AQP7 and selected lipid markers of WAT (subcutaneous and visceral) and BAT (interscapular) from hamsters fed diets containing n-3 LCPUFA in different lipid structures such as fish oil (FO, rich in EPA and DHA in the TAG form) and FO-EE (rich in EPA and DHA in the EE form) were used and compared with linseed oil (LSO) as the reference group. A clear effect of fat depot was observed for AQP3 and leptin (LEP), with the lowest values of mRNA found in BAT relative to WAT. The opposite occurred for PPARα. AQP7 was affected by diet, with FO-fed hamsters having higher mRNA levels compared with LSO-fed hamsters. The relative gene expression of AQP5, adiponectin (ADIPO), GLUT4 and PPARγ was influenced by both fat tissue and diet. Taken together, our results revealed a differential expression profile of AQP and some markers of lipid metabolism in both WAT and BAT in response to feeding n-3 LCPUFA in two different structural formats: TAG v. EE.
With international demand for production systems aimed at thermal comfort and animal welfare, milk producers have become increasingly interested in compost barns. However, doubts about the behavioral aspects of cows in tropical and subtropical climates remain, because the compost barn system offers a larger bed area per animal at a lower stocking rate. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the diurnal behaviors, hygiene and lameness of crossbred dairy cows are influenced by different number of lactations when housed in a compost-bedded pack barn system under hot and humid conditions. Crossbred cows (Holstein and Jersey), which were divided into two treatments based on number of lactations (primiparous and multiparous cows), were evaluated during lactation (n=12). The study was conducted from September 2015 to February 2016 in a compost barn in the southwest region of the state of Paraná, Brazil. Daytime behavior was observed between milking schedules using focal observations with 0/1 sampling. Cow hygiene and lameness were evaluated using subjective scores ranging from 1 to 4 and 1 to 5, respectively. Animal behavior and welfare was analyzed using Bayesian inference with a mixed effects model. The probabilities of dyspnea and pushing behaviors were higher (P<0.05) in multiparous cows, and the probability increased during the hottest hours of the day. For both multiparous and primiparous cows, the agonistic behaviors of pushing, butting and chasing peaked during the afternoon. Eating behaviors had the highest likelihood values (0.8 at 0800 h). The cows preferred to remain lying down in the morning, while rest and standing rumination were preferred in the afternoon. Primiparous cows were cleaner than multiparous cows, and the hygiene score for this group was significantly lower (P<0.05). The hygiene and lameness scores for all animals were low, and the highest scores were 1 and 2. In conclusion, multiparous cows exhibited more frequent agonistic behaviors during the hottest hours of the day. Regarding hygiene and lameness scores, multiparous cows exhibited a higher degree of dirtiness compared with the primiparous cows.
This study was conducted within the context of the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project and the underlying scientific motivation for the development of the study was the scarcity of data regarding inter-observer reliability (IOR) of welfare indicators, particularly given the importance of reliability as a further step for developing on-farm welfare assessment protocols. The objective of this study is therefore to evaluate IOR of animal-based indicators (at group and individual-level) of the AWIN welfare assessment protocol (prototype) for dairy goats. In the design of the study, two pairs of observers, one in Portugal and another in Italy, visited 10 farms each and applied the AWIN prototype protocol. Farms in both countries were visited between January and March 2014, and all the observers received the same training before the farm visits were initiated. Data collected during farm visits, and analysed in this study, include group-level and individual-level observations. The results of our study allow us to conclude that most of the group-level indicators presented the highest IOR level (‘substantial’, 0.85 to 0.99) in both field studies, pointing to a usable set of animal-based welfare indicators that were therefore included in the first level of the final AWIN welfare assessment protocol for dairy goats. Inter-observer reliability of individual-level indicators was lower, but the majority of them still reached ‘fair to good’ (0.41 to 0.75) and ‘excellent’ (0.76 to 1) levels. In the paper we explore reasons for the differences found in IOR between the group and individual-level indicators, including how the number of individual-level indicators to be assessed on each animal and the restraining method may have affected the results. Furthermore, we discuss the differences found in the IOR of individual-level indicators in both countries: the Portuguese pair of observers reached a higher level of IOR, when compared with the Italian observers. We argue how the reasons behind these differences may stem from the restraining method applied, or the different background and experience of the observers. Finally, the discussion of the results emphasizes the importance of considering that reliability is not an absolute attribute of an indicator, but derives from an interaction between the indicators, the observers and the situation in which the assessment is taking place. This highlights the importance of further considering the indicators’ reliability while developing welfare assessment protocols.
We studied the ontogenetic growth of goat wethers (castrated male goats) of the Saanen and Swiss Alpine breeds based on a large range of intraspecific body mass (BM). The body parts and the chemical constituents of the empty body were described by the allometric function by using BM and the empty body mass (EBM) as the predictors for morphological traits and chemical composition, respectively. We fitted the allometric scaling function by applying the SAS NLMIXED procedure, but to evaluate assumptions regarding variances in morphological and compositional traits, we combined the scaling function with homoscedastic (MOD1), and the heteroscedastic exponential (MOD2) and power-of-the-mean (MOD3) variance functions. We also predicted the ontogenetic growth by using the traditional log-log transformation and back-transformed results into the arithmetic scale (MOD4). We obtained predictions from MOD4 in the arithmetic scale by a two-step process, and evaluated MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 by a model selection framework, and compared MOD4 with MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 based on goodness-of-fit measures. Based on information criteria for model selection, heterogeneous variance functions were more likely to describe 10 over 36 traits with a low level of model selection uncertainty. One trait was predicted by averaging the MOD1 and MOD2 variance functions; and nine traits were better described by averaging the MOD2 and MOD3 variance functions. The predictions for other 16 traits were averaged from MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3. However, MOD4 better described 11 traits according to the goodness-of-fit measures. Depending on the variable being analyzed, the body parts and the chemical amounts exhibited the three types of allometric behavior with respect to BM and EBM, that is, positive, negative and isometric ontogenetic growth. Reference BMs, that is, 20, 27, 35 and 45 kg, were used to compute the net protein and energy requirements based on the first derivative of the scaling function, and the results were presented in reference to the EBM and EBM0.75. Both the net protein and energy requirements scaled to EBM0.75 increased from 20 to 45 kg of BM.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
This cross-sectional, population-based study aimed to estimate the prevalence of dietary mineral inadequacies among residents in urban areas of Sao Paulo, to identify foods contributing to mineral intake and to verify possible associations between socio-demographic and lifestyle factors and mineral intake. Data were obtained from the 2008 Health Survey of Sao Paulo (n 1511; mean age 43·6 (sd 23·2), range 14–97 years). Dietary intake of minerals was measured using two 24-h dietary recalls. Socio-demographic and lifestyle data were collected. The prevalence of inadequate intake was estimated according to Dietary Reference Intakes methods. Associations between mineral intake and baseline factors were determined using multiple linear regression. Na, Ca and Mg showed the highest dietary inadequacies. Some age/sex groups had lower intakes of P, Zn, Cu and Se. Rice, beans and bread were the main foods contributing towards mineral intake. Female sex was negatively associated with K, Na, P, Mg, Zn and Mn intakes. All age groups were positively associated with the intakes of K, P, Mg and Mn. Family income above one minimum wage was positively associated with Se intake. Living in a household whose head completed ≥10 years of education was positively associated with Ca and negatively associated with Na intake. Former smoker status was negatively associated with Ca intake. Current smoker status was inversely associated with K, Ca, P and Cu intakes. Sufficient physical activity was positively associated with K, Ca and Mg intakes. Overall, the intakes of all major minerals were inadequate and were influenced by socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.
The development of an absolute radiometer instrument is currently a effort at INPE for TSI measurements. In this work, we describe the development of black Ni-P coatings for TSI radiometers absorptive cavities. We present a study of the surface blackening process and the relationships between morphological structure, chemical composition and coating absorption. Ni-P deposits with different phosphorous content were obtained by electroless techniques on aluminum substrates with a thin zincate layer. Appropriate phosphorus composition and etching parameters process produce low reflectance black coatings.
Some key physical processes that impact the evolution of Earth's atmosphere on time-scale from days to millennia, such as the EUV emissions, are determined by the solar magnetic field. However, observations of the solar spectral irradiance are restricted to the last few solar cycles and are subject to large uncertainties. We present a physics-based model to reconstruct short-term solar spectral irradiance (SSI) variability. The coronal magnetic field is estimated to employ the Potential Field Source Surface extrapolation (PFSS) based on observational synoptic charts and magnetic flux transport model. The emission is estimated to employ the CHIANTI atomic database 8.0. The performance of the model is compared to the emission observed by TIMED/SORCE.
Maternal diet-induced obesity can cause detrimental developmental origins of health and disease in offspring. Perinatal exposure to a high-fat diet (HFD) can lead to later behavioral and metabolic disturbances, but it is not clear which behaviors and metabolic parameters are most vulnerable. To address this critical gap, biparental and monogamous oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus), which may better replicate most human societies, were used in the current study. About 2 weeks before breeding, adult females were placed on a control or HFD and maintained on the diets throughout gestation and lactation. F1 offspring were placed at weaning (30 days of age) on the control diet and spatial learning and memory, anxiety, exploratory, voluntary physical activity, and metabolic parameters were tested when they reached adulthood (90 days of age). Surprisingly, maternal HFD caused decreased latency in initial and reverse Barnes maze trials in male, but not female, offspring. Both male and female HFD-fed offspring showed increased anxiogenic behaviors, but decreased exploratory and voluntary physical activity. Moreover, HFD offspring demonstrated lower resting energy expenditure (EE) compared with controls. Accordingly, HFD offspring weighed more at adulthood than those from control fed dams, likely the result of reduced physical activity and EE. Current findings indicate a maternal HFD may increase obesity susceptibility in offspring due to prenatal programming resulting in reduced physical activity and EE later in life. Further work is needed to determine the underpinning neural and metabolic mechanisms by which a maternal HFD adversely affects neurobehavioral and metabolic pathways in offspring.
To date no comprehensive evaluation has appraised the likelihood of bias or the strength of the evidence of peripheral biomarkers for bipolar disorder (BD). Here we performed an umbrella review of meta-analyses of peripheral non-genetic biomarkers for BD.
The Pubmed/Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases were searched up to May 2015. Two independent authors conducted searches, examined references for eligibility, and extracted data. Meta-analyses in any language examining peripheral non-genetic biomarkers in participants with BD (across different mood states) compared to unaffected controls were included.
Six references, which examined 13 biomarkers across 20 meta-analyses (5474 BD cases and 4823 healthy controls) met inclusion criteria. Evidence for excess of significance bias (i.e. bias favoring publication of ‘positive’ nominally significant results) was observed in 11 meta-analyses. Heterogeneity was high for (I2 ⩾ 50%) 16 meta-analyses. Only two biomarkers met criteria for suggestive evidence namely the soluble IL-2 receptor and morning cortisol. The median power of included studies, using the effect size of the largest dataset as the plausible true effect size of each meta-analysis, was 15.3%.
Our findings suggest that there is an excess of statistically significant results in the literature of peripheral biomarkers for BD. Selective publication of ‘positive’ results and selective reporting of outcomes are possible mechanisms.
The DOHaD research field has successfully associated adult non-communicable diseases with inadequate nutrition in early periods of life. More recently, different types of exposure have been linked with impaired developmental outcomes and later health consequences, such as cesarean section at delivery, air pollution and domestic violence during pregnancy. The aim of this work is to bring up this issue looking at the published evidence on these three highly prevalent hazards in Latin American countries.
The benefits of mycorrhizal inoculation on growth, yield and nutrition of plants are well documented. However, mycorrhiza use in pepper and sweet pepper crops (Capsicum spp.) is still rarely exploited compared to other crops of economic importance. The current paper reviews the main aspects of the association between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and plants of pepper and sweet pepper. It includes topics about the effects of AM fungi on nutrition, growth and yield in Capsicum spp., paying particular attention to AM fungi–pathogen interactions, responses to some environmental stresses, as well as biochemical and physiological aspects of AM fungi–plant interaction in Capsicum annuum L.
The goal of the present study was to characterize the growth of body parts and composition of the growing empty body to infer how these aspects relate to the long-term growth of goat wethers from dairy breeds. Animals were slaughtered at several ages from birth to maturity (≅900 days old). All body parts were weighed and sampled to determine chemical constituent dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, ash and specific energy. The monomolecular (Brody), Gompertz, and Richards models, a biphasic model formed by the combined Brody and Gompertz functions, and a simple linear model were fitted to the growth profiles with different variance functions and were all evaluated using likelihood-information criteria. The effect of breed (genotype) was accounted for in all models but the resulting models were not more likely than the models without the breed effect. Remarkable differences were observed regarding inflection points, growth rates and trends for all body parts and chemical constituents of the body. The biphasic model did not supplant the monomolecular, Gompertz, Richards or the linear model in terms of likelihood-information criteria. Therefore, body parts and chemical constituents of the empty body presented monomolecular, sigmoid and linear time-trends. The growth profiles of fat, protein and energy of the empty body did not scale isometrically with the empty body proper. In addition, the variance was heteroscedastic along the time scale and was better represented by both an exponential variance over time or by a power function of the mean.