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For this research communication our objective was to investigate to what extent milk coagulation properties and milk fatty acid (FA) composition were affected by different feeding systems, season and their interaction. Eighteen cows in total were subjected to one of three different feeding system treatments: full-time grazing or part-time grazing combined with indoor feeding of fresh grass with low or high concentrate supplementation. Milk was sampled in spring, summer and autumn. Milk coagulation time was 15.0, 19.0 and 17.7 min, coagulation dynamics 1.67, 3.41 and 1.79 min, and curd firmness 52.7, 32.4 and 47.0 mm in spring, summer and autumn, respectively. Thus, milk coagulation properties of the milk were lower during summer. There were strong seasonal effects on milk FA proportions, but there were not always changes with progressing season, or changes were different with respect to the impact of the feeding systems (system × season interaction). The milk fat was favourably rich in oleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid and had a low n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio in all systems. Factors like seasonal variations in grass composition and the energy balance of the cows were considered relevant for the milk FA composition. Overall, seasonal variations in milk quality were less pronounced with part-time grazing with fresh grass indoors as compared to full-time grazing without concentrate.
By the autumn of 1872, John Tyndall (1820–93) was at the height of his influence. He had published two well-received books the previous year: his adventuresome Hours of Exercise in the Alps, an account of his most breathtaking mountaineering exploits, and his more cerebral Fragments of Science, a candid discussion of his views on everything from dust and disease to prayer and miracles. He dedicated the latter volume to his ‘friends in the United States’, where he was set to embark for the first time, finally succumbing to repeated invitations from the nation's leading intellectuals, including Joseph Henry, Louis Agassiz and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It was an opportune time for him to set sail. He had just returned from another fulfilling climbing season in his beloved Alps, and his rooms at the Royal Institution – where he lectured, researched and lived – were undergoing renovation. Yet a more controversial reason to flee England simmered in the background, one that would follow him across the Atlantic. That July, three months before he set sail, the London Contemporary Review published an anonymous letter, ‘The Prayer for the Sick: Hints towards a Serious Attempt to Estimate its Value’, along with an introductory note by Tyndall. The letter suggested that, if organized correctly, the efficacy of the weekly prayers of all thirty thousand congregations throughout England could be tested experimentally through quantitative methods.
Physicist John Tyndall and his contemporaries were at the forefront of developing the cosmology of scientific naturalism during the Victorian period. They rejected all but physical laws as having any impact on the operations of human life and the universe. Contributors focus on the way Tyndall and his correspondents developed their ideas through letters, periodicals and scientific journals and challenge previously held assumptions about who gained authority, and how they attained and defended their position within the scientific community.