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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.
In this study, we examine how the Guri catfish Genidens genidens uses estuarine and freshwater habitats along the largest South American coastal lagoon, through the chemical analysis of otoliths and microscopic analysis of gonads. Chemical composition (Sr:Ca) of otolith edges allowed distinguishing between individuals who used the estuarine or freshwater compartments of the lagoon. The analysis of core-to-edge chemical profiles of each individual otolith revealed that the population may present two different patterns of habitat use along the lagoon. The ‘type 1’ pattern (89.5%) includes fish who appear to have been born in estuarine waters, whereas ‘type 2’ (9.5%) includes those fish born in fresh water. Nevertheless, juveniles from both patterns appear to migrate to estuarine waters. The gonad analysis shows G. genidens may reproduce in fresh water, as nearly 57% of all sampled fish were found to spawn in the freshwater portion of the lagoon. Also, the otolith core of many adult fish presented freshwater signatures, thus suggesting consistent fresh water use during early life. Our findings based on otolith and gonadal analyses challenge the previous classification of G. genidens as an estuarine resident. Rather, our results allow the suggestion that this species should be placed in the ‘estuarine and fresh water’ guild, which includes both fish completing their life cycles within the estuary and fish who consistently use freshwater habitats.
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.
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.
The effects of growing pinto peanut mixed with elephant grass-based pastures are still little known. The aim of the current research was to evaluate the performance of herbage yield, nutritive value of forage and animal responses to levels of pinto peanut forage mass mixed with elephant grass in low-input systems. Three grazing systems were evaluated: (i) elephant grass-based (control); (ii) pinto peanut, low-density forage yield (63 g/kg of dry matter – DM) + elephant grass; and (iii) pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield (206 g/kg DM) + elephant grass. The experimental design was completely randomized with the three treatments (grazing systems) and three replicates (paddocks) in split-plot grazing cycles. Forage samples were collected to evaluate the pasture and animal responses. Leaf blades of elephant grass and the other companion grasses of pinto peanut were collected to analyse the crude protein, in vitro digestible organic matter and total digestible nutrients. The pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield + elephant grass treatment was found to give the best results in terms of herbage yield, forage intake and stocking rate, as well as having higher crude protein contents for both elephant grass and the other grasses, followed by pinto peanut with low-density forage yield + elephant grass and finally elephant grass alone. Better results were found with the grass–legume system for pasture and animal responses.
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.
To evaluate prenatal care knowledge of Brazilian community health workers (CHWs).
Routine prenatal care is critical for reducing health risks in women and their children. One of the responsibilities of primary healthcare providers is the provision of prenatal care. The CHWs, with their frequent contact with populations, work to improve health outreach efforts and therefore may be key role players in prenatal care.
This was a cross-sectional study. A questionnaire was developed to ascertain the degree of knowledge regarding prenatal care of CHWs, including: (1) general responsibilities of CHWs; (2) the initial contact with a pregnant woman; (3) examinations and vaccinations recommended for pregnant women; (4) pregnancy complications and signs of labor; and (5) lifestyle considerations for pregnant women. Responses were categorized into levels for knowledge. Demographic data were also collected. Descriptive analyses were conducted. Proportions of subjects with different levels of knowledge were compared according to each demographic variable, separately for each block of knowledge, using the χ2 and Fisher’s exact tests.
In total, 194 CHWs were interviewed. Overall, the majority of the CHWs presented high levels of knowledge in blocks 1 (43%), 2 (59%) and 5 (83%). However, in block 3 the proportions of subjects with high levels of knowledge regarding examinations and vaccinations were 35 and 40%, respectively. Only 24% of the participants presented a high level of knowledge in block 4. Stratified data analyses suggest that females were statistically more likely to have high levels of knowledge, whereas no statistically significant differences were found for the other demographic variables. Health services are already routinely using the questionnaire.
The results suggest that CHWs, especially female CHWs, have an important role in assisting pregnant women in the community. The study indicates the areas of knowledge that require more specific attention from training providers.
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.
Salmonella causes an estimated 1·2 million illnesses annually in the USA. Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana (serotype Javiana) is the fourth most common serotype isolated from humans, with the majority of illnesses occurring in southeastern states. The percentage of wetland cover by wetland type and the average incidence rates of serotype Javiana infection in selected counties of the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) were examined. This analysis explored the relationship between wetland environments and incidence in order to assess whether regional differences in environmental habitats may be associated with observed variations in incidence. Findings suggest that environmental habitats may support reservoirs or contribute to the persistence of serotype Javiana, and may frequently contribute to the transmission of infection compared with other Salmonella serotypes.
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.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
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.
Staining with brilliant cresyl blue (BCB) may be used for oocyte selection, but BCB staining itself and the most commonly used selection medium (DMPBS) may compromise the development of porcine oocytes in vitro. This study evaluated DNA fragmentation, nuclear maturation, the area of migration of cortical granules (CG) and embryo development for stained (BCB+) and unstained (BCB−) oocytes incubated in DMPBS and in a modified medium (ReproPel) tested for the first time. Unexposed (UN), BCB+ and BCB− oocytes were incubated composing six groups: DMPBS/UN; DMPBS/BCB+; DMPBS/BCB−; ReproPel/UN; ReproPel/BCB+; and ReproPel/BCB−. There were more BCB+ oocytes in ReproPel than in DMPBS (P < 0.05). The DNA fragmentation was evaluated for oocytes in DMPBS/BCB+, DMPBS/BCB−, ReproPel/BCB+, ReproPel/BCB− and in porcine follicular fluid (control). The frequency of oocytes with no DNA fragmentation was greatest (64.6%) in DMPBS/BCB+ and lowest in ReproPel/BCB+ and ReproPel/BCB− (26.8 and 34.1%, respectively) (P < 0.05). Nuclear maturation rates were greater (P < 0.05) for DMPBS/BCB+ (63.1%), ReproPel/UN (55.1%) and ReproPel/BCB+ (50.2%) than for DMPBS/UN (40.8%) and ReproPel/BCB− (35.5%). The area of CG was greater (P < 0.05) for ReproPel/BCB− (80.7%) and DMPBS/UN (77.6%) than for ReproPel/UN (34.7%). Cleavage rates for DMPBS/BCB+ and ReproPel/BCB+ were greater than for DMPBS/UN (P < 0.05). Blastocyst development rates were greatest (P < 0.05) for ReproPel/UN and ReproPel/BCB+. In both media, BCB staining was apparently unable to select competent oocytes, which likely occurred due to toxicity. Despite the similar nuclear maturation and area of CG compared with DMPBS, oocytes selected in ReproPel presented impaired DNA integrity.
To this date ψ Per is the only classical Be star that was angularly resolved in radio (by the VLA at λ = 2 cm). Gaussian fit to the azimuthally averaged visibility data indicates a disk size (FWHM) of ~500 stellar radii (Dougherty & Taylor 1992). Recently, we obtained new multi-band cm flux density measurements of ψ Per from the enhanced VLA. We modeled the observed spectral energy distribution (SED) covering the interval from ultraviolet to radio using the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code HDUST (Carciofi & Bjorkman 2006). An SED turndown, that occurs between far-IR and radio wavelengths, is explained by a truncated viscous decretion disk (VDD), although the shallow slope of the radio SED suggests that the disk is not simply cut off, as is assumed in our model. The best-fit size of a truncated disk derived from the modeling of the radio SED is 100+5−15 stellar radii, which is in striking contrast with the result of Dougherty & Taylor (1992). The reasons for this discrepancy are under investigation.
The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
Extreme solar-terrestrial events are those in which very energetic solar ejections hit the earth?s magnetosphere, causing intense energization of the earth?s ring current. Statistically, their occurrence is approximately once per Gleissberg solar cycle (70-100yrs). The solar transient occurred on July, 23rd (2012) was potentially one of such extreme events. The associated coronal mass ejection (CME), however, was not ejected towards the earth. Instead, it hit the STEREO A spacecraft, located 120 degrees away from the Sun-Earth line. Estimates of the geoeffectiveness of such a CME point to a scenario of extreme Space Weather conditions. In terms of the ring current energization, as measured by the Disturbance Storm-Time index (Dst), had this CME hit the Earth, it would have caused the strongest geomagnetic storm in space era.
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.