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The research has shown the interesting contributions of shearing in mid-gestation on the performance of lambs from birth to weaning. Other studies have reported that shearing at early pregnancy influences the development of the placenta and lamb live weight at birth. However, there was a lack of information on the effect of early-prepartum shearing on the behavior of the offspring from weaning onward. This study evaluated the effect of shearing ewes at 50 days of gestation on the growth, reproductive behavior and response to a gastrointestinal parasite challenge in the female offspring from weaning to 18 months old. Fifty-seven Polwarth female lambs were used, 22 being singles and 35 twins born to ewes either shorn at 50 days of pregnancy (PS, n = 23) or shorn at 62 days postpartum (U, control, n = 34) resulting in four subgroups: single lambs born to PS ewes (n = 8), born to U ewes (n = 14), twin lambs born to PS ewes (n = 15) or born to U ewes (n = 20). All progeny were managed together under improved pasture with a minimum forage allowance of 6% live weight on dry basis. Body weight, body condition score and fecal eggs count were recorded every 14 days from weaning to 18 months of age. Concentrations of progesterone were measured weekly (from 4 to 10 months of age and from 14 to 18 months of age) to establish the onset of puberty. Ovulation rate at an induced and a natural heat (545 ± 1.0 and 562 ± 1.0 day old) was recorded. Prepartum shearing did not affect the age at puberty or the ovulation rate of female offspring, but those born as singles were more precocious ( P = 0.03) and heavier ( P = 0.02) at puberty than twin born lambs. Both the average value of parasite egg count ( P = 0.0 7) and the Famacha index ( P = 0.02) for the entire study period were lower in lambs born to prepartum shorn ewes than those born to postpartum shorn ewes. In conclusion, shearing at 50 days of gestation did not affect the growth or the reproductive behavior of female offspring. However, female lambs born from ewe shorn during gestation showed a better response to the parasitic challenge, and further research is required to confirm this.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
At a global level, dairy cow production systems (DCPS) are important sources of nourishment and profits, but they generate environmental impacts such as overexploitation of different resources including water, lands and fossil energy. Quantification of water and carbon footprint to define mitigation strategies and a more rational use of natural resources, is a reiterated claim. The aim of this study was to perform an economic evaluation of the environmental impact of the DCPS from the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico (24°N, 102°W, 220 mm, hot-semiarid climate) We contrasted the economic value (EV) generated by the DCPS with respect to the economic costs (EC) due to the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and the water footprint (WFP) of this DCPS. While quantifications of GHGE considered those proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the WFP involved the use of blue, gray and green water by the DCPS and related activities. Quantification of the EC of WFP considered an international average price of water. In the year 2017, the Comarca Lagunera registered a dairy cow inventory of 493 144 heads, with 227 142 lactating cows, which produced 2386 million liters of milk per year with an annual average EV of €525.3 million. The EC (€, millions) generated by the GHGE and WFP were €311.8 and €11 980.7, respectively, with a total EC of € 12 292.5 million. When the EV of milk production and the total environmental EC are compared, the contrast demonstrates not only the noteworthy environmental impact but also the significant and senseless biological and EC. In addition, having a large dairy cow concentration creates pollution concerns and the DCPS transfers both nutrients and water resources from an ecologically vulnerable arid region. Therefore, some mitigation strategies such as, better cow genotype, feed and manure management combined with the production of forages and grains in a different geographical region are suggested to promote an optimum use of water in order to uphold the social, economic and biologic sustainability of the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico.
In this work we apply high-resolution X-ray diffractometry to the study of InGaAs/GaAs multiple quantum well structures on (001) and(lll)B GaAs substrates. The samples consisted of p-i-n diodes with a multiple quantum well embedded in the i-region and were simultaneously grown on (001) and (111)B substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. For the characterization we have used symmetric and asymmetric reflections at different azimuthal positions. The interpretation of the diffraction profiles has been possible thanks to our recently developed simulation model, which allows the calculation of any reflection regardless of the substrate orientation. X-ray results about composition and thickness are very similar in the samples simultaneously grown on both orientations as expected from our specific growth conditions. The information obtained from X-ray characterization is consistent with the results of photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements within the experimental uncertainty of the techniques. In (lll)B samples, X-ray diffractometry provides structural information which cannot be easily obtained from optical characterization techniques.
Environmental factors during perinatal life can lead to changes in the mammary gland, making it susceptible to cancer in adulthood. Breastfeeding has a special importance since it takes place at a critical period of growth and development of the newborn. We aimed to analyze if an appropriate lactation protects the offspring against mammary carcinogenesis during adult life and explore the mechanisms involved in the protective effect. One-day-old Sprague-Dawley female rats were randomly distributed in litters of three (L3), eight (L8) or 12 (L12) pups per dam, to induce a differential consumption of breast milk. At 55 days of age, the animals were treated with a single dose of dimethylbenzanthracene to study tumor latency, incidence and progression. Histological, immunohistochemical and Western blot studies were performed. We observed lower incidence and higher latency in L3 compared to the other groups. The mitotic index and expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was significantly augmented in tumors of L12 rats compared to L3 and L8, while the apoptotic index was augmented in tumors of L3 v. L12. Cleaved caspase 8 was significantly higher in tumors from L3 compared to L12. Tumors developed in L3 have a greater number of apoptotic bodies and a greater expression of caspase 8. These results demonstrate that the animals that maintained a higher intake of maternal milk (L3) presented lower incidence and greater tumor latency. Lower consumption of breast milk (L12) would increase tumor mitosis and the expression of PCNA, explaining the higher tumor incidence observed in this group.
Protein is the most costly nutrient in fish feed, and while diets offered in the early stages of development typically have high levels of CP, they do not always correspond to the real requirements of the animals. Thus, research that seeks to learn the true nutritional requirements of fish is fundamental to improving commercial fish culture. The present study evaluated the protein requirements of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under larviculture. Fish performance, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity and stress response to air exposure were analyzed. Four experimental diets differing in CP level were formulated: 30%, 36%, 42% and 48%. Fish larvae were fed the experimental diets during development and sampled 10, 20 and 30 days after the beginning of the experiment for performance, gene expression and enzymatic activity. At sampling time 30, stress resistance was also evaluated by means of an air exposure test. At sampling time 10, CP levels between 36% and 48% could be used for a better performance. During this period, pepsinogen expression was greater for 30% CP, intermediate for 42% and lower for 36% and 48%. After this initial period, diets of between 30% and 42% CP are recommended for better performance. At sampling time 20, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity were similar for all diets tested. At sampling time 30, the diet of 42% CP induced both greater pepsinogen expression and pepsin activity. Survival after the air exposure test after 30 days of feeding was influenced by CP level in the diet, with the highest survival being for fish fed with 36% CP. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that dietary CP influences digestive enzyme gene expression and activity, and suggest that the best CP levels for Nile tilapia larviculture vary depending on larval stage.
Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria parasitize pinniped pups in various locations worldwide. Four species have been described, two of which parasitize pinniped pups in the southern hemisphere: Uncinaria hamiltoni parasitizes Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis from the South American coast, and Uncinaria sanguinis parasitizes Neophoca cinerea from the Australian coast. However, their geographical ranges and host specificity are unknown. Uncinaria spp. are morphologically similar, but molecular analyses have allowed the recognition of new species in the genus Uncinaria. We used nuclear genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) rDNA) and a mitochondrial genetic marker (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)) to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships of Uncinaria spp. parasitizing A. australis and O. flavescens from South American coasts (Atlantic and Pacific coasts). We compared our sequences with published Uncinaria sequences. A Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) analysis was also used to delimit species, and principal component analysis was used to compare morphometry among Uncinaria specimens. Parasites were sampled from A. australis from Peru (12°S), southern Chile (42°S), and the Uruguayan coast, and from O. flavescens from northern Chile (24°S) and the Uruguayan coast. Morphometric differences were observed between Uncinaria specimens from both South American coasts and between Uncinaria specimens from A. australis in Peru and southern Chile. Phylogenetic and GMYC analyses suggest that south-eastern Pacific otariid species harbour U. hamiltoni and an undescribed putative species of Uncinaria. However, more samples from A. australis and O. flavescens are necessary to understand the phylogenetic patterns of Uncinaria spp. across the South Pacific.
To examine the feasibility of using social media to assess the consumer nutrition environment by comparing sentiment expressed in Yelp reviews with information obtained from a direct observation audit instrument for grocery stores.
Trained raters used the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S) in 100 grocery stores from July 2015 to March 2016. Yelp reviews were available for sixty-nine of these stores and were retrieved in February 2017 using the Yelp Application Program Interface. A sentiment analysis was conducted to quantify the perceptions of the consumer nutrition environment in the review text. Pearson correlation coefficients (ρ) were used to compare NEMS-S scores with Yelp review text on food availability, quality, price and shopping experience.
Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Yelp reviews contained more comments about food availability and the overall shopping experience than food price and food quality. Negative sentiment about food prices in Yelp review text and the number of dollar signs on Yelp were positively correlated with observed food prices in stores (ρ=0·413 and 0·462, respectively). Stores with greater food availability were rated as more expensive on Yelp. Other aspects of the food store environment (e.g. overall quality and shopping experience) were captured only in Yelp.
While Yelp cannot replace in-person audits for collecting detailed information on the availability, quality and cost of specific food items, Yelp holds promise as a cost-effective means to gather information on the overall cost, quality and experience of food stores, which may be relevant for nutrition outcomes.
The energy supplied by the high-forage diets used in organic farming may be insufficient to meet the requirements of dairy cattle. However, few studies have considered this problem. The present study aimed to analyze the composition of the diets and the nutritional status (focusing on the energy–protein balance of the diets) of dairy cattle reared on organic farms in northern Spain, which are similar to other organic farming systems in temperate regions. Exhaustive information about diets was obtained from organic (ORG) and representative conventional grazing (GRZ) and conventional no-grazing (CNG) farms. Samples of feed from the respective farms were analyzed to determine the composition. Overall, the diets used on the ORG farms were very different from those used on the CNG farms, although the difference was not as evident for GRZ. The CNG farms were characterized by a higher total dry matter intake with a high proportion of concentrate feed, maize silage and forage silage. By contrast, on ORG and GRZ farms, the forage, pasture and fibre intake were the most important variables. The ration used on ORG farms contained a significantly higher percentage of ADF and lower organic matter (OM) content than the rations used in both of the conventional farming systems, indicating that the diets in the former were less digestible. Although the protein concentration in the diets used on the grazing farms (ORG and GRZ) was higher than those used on CNG farms, the protein intake was similar. The results indicated an imbalance between energy and protein due to the low level of energy provided by the ORG diets, suggesting that more microbial protein could be synthesized from the available rumen-degraded dietary nitrogen if rumen-fermentable OM was not limiting. The imbalance between energy and protein led to a reduced amount of total digestible protein reaching the intestine and a lower milk yield per kilogram of CP intake on the ORG farms. In order to improve the protein use efficiency and consequently to reduce the loss of nitrogen to the environment, organic farming should aim to increase the energy content of cattle diets by improving forage quality and formulating rations with more balanced combinations of forage and grain.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Despite efforts to combat invasive species, further measures are still required to prevent their arrival and translocation, especially into biodiverse island ecosystems. Although many governments worldwide have already established protocols to control alien species, the European outermost regions have yet to implement fully effective prevention or rapid response procedures. The numerous translocations of the invasive Barbary ground squirrel Atlantoxerus getulus within the Canary Islands illustrate this problem. From 1996 to 2016 at least 2.1 individuals per year have been moved from Fuerteventura to other islands. If movements of these medium-sized vertebrates are taking place regularly, the number of smaller species transported within the archipelago could potentially be greater. We argue that it is essential to implement stricter strategies for invasive species control in these remote biodiversity-rich islands, including early detection and rapid response, to minimize impacts on native biodiversity.
To assess produce availability, quality and price in a large sample of food stores in low-income neighbourhoods in California.
Cross-sectional statewide survey.
Between 2011 and 2015, local health departments assessed store type, WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)/SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participation, produce availability, quality and price of selected items in stores in low-income neighbourhoods. Secondary data provided reference chain supermarket produce prices matched by county and month. t Tests and ANOVA examined differences by store type; regression models examined factors associated with price.
Large grocery stores (n 231), small markets (n 621) and convenience stores (n 622) in 225 neighbourhoods.
Produce in most large groceries was rated high quality (97 % of fruits, 98 % of vegetables), but not in convenience stores (25 % fruits, 14 % vegetables). Small markets and convenience stores participating in WIC and/or SNAP had better produce availability, variety and quality than non-participating stores. Produce prices across store types were, on average, higher than reference prices from matched chain supermarkets (27 % higher in large groceries, 37 % higher in small markets, 102 % higher in convenience stores). Price was significantly inversely associated with produce variety, adjusting for quality, store type, and SNAP and WIC participation.
The study finds that fresh produce is more expensive in low-income neighbourhoods and that convenience stores offer more expensive, poorer-quality produce than other stores. Variety is associated with price and most limited in convenience stores, suggesting more work is needed to determine how convenience stores can provide low-income consumers with access to affordable, high-quality produce. WIC and SNAP can contribute to the solution.