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With still limited information on vitamin requirements and considering that many commercial practices adopt dietary vitamin levels above the values suggested by nutritional tables, this study aimed to assess the effect of administering vitamin supplementation to sows in gestation and lactation and to their litters on the reproductive performance and body condition of the sows and on the performance and immune profile of the litters until slaughter. The trial was split into two phases. The first phase used 104 sows, assigned to be randomized to blocks according to parity, submitted until 21 days of lactation to two treatments: control–standard (standard levels of vitamins) and test–elevated (elevated levels of vitamins). Each sow and its respective farrow were considered an experimental unit. The sows underwent evaluations of body condition score, back fat thickness and reproductive performance. In the second phase, 60 barrows and 60 gilts at 21 days of age and mean initial weight of 5.33 ± 1.5 kg until slaughter at 164 days of age. The piglets were assigned to randomized blocks according to the weight and sex of the animals in a 2 × 2 factorial model, with 10 replicates per treatment, where a pen with three animals represented the experimental unit. Following the same treatments of the first phase, the piglets were evaluated for daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion, mortality rate and humoral immune response. Vitamin supplementation had no positive effects on the reproductive parameters or body composition of sows. However, it positively impacted the performance of the litters in the early nursery stage, but did not lead to superior effects on the immune responses to vaccination against circovirus or mycoplasma.
Several life-threatening diseases of the kidney have their origins in mutational events that occur during embryonic development. In this study, we investigate the role of the Wolffian duct (WD), the earliest embryonic epithelial progenitor of renal tubules, in the etiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is associated with a germline mutation of one of the two Pkd1 alleles. For the disease to occur, a second event that disrupts the expression of the other inherited Pkd1 allele must occur. We postulated that this secondary event can occur in the pronephric WD. Using Cre-Lox recombination, mice with WD-specific deletion of one or both Pkd1 alleles were generated. Homozygous Pkd1-targeted deletion in WD-derived tissues resulted in mice with large cystic kidneys and serologic evidence of renal failure. In contrast, heterozygous deletion of Pkd1 in the WD led to kidneys that were phenotypically indistinguishable from control in the early postnatal period. High-throughput sequencing, however, revealed underlying gene and microRNA (miRNA) changes in these heterozygous mutant kidneys that suggest a strong predisposition toward developing ADPKD. Bioinformatic analysis of this data demonstrated an upregulation of several miRNAs that have been previously associated with PKD; pathway analysis further demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes in the heterozygous mutant kidneys were overrepresented in signaling pathways associated with maintenance and function of the renal tubular epithelium. These results suggest that the WD may be an early epithelial target for the genetic or molecular signals that can lead to cyst formation in ADPKD.
Chronic tic disorders may have a major impact on a child's function. A significant effect has been shown for combined habit reversal training (HRT) and exposure response prevention (ERP) treatment delivered in an individual and group setting.
The present study examines predictors and moderators of treatment outcome after an acute therapeutic intervention.
Fifty-nine children and adolescents were randomised to manualised treatment combining HRT and ERP as individual or group training. Age, gender, baseline tic severity, Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale (PUTS) scores, Beliefs about Tic Scale (BATS) scores, hypersensitivity and comorbid psychiatric symptoms were analysed as predictors of outcome. The same characteristics were examined as moderators for individual versus group treatment. Outcome measures included the change in total tic severity (TTS) score and functional impairment score (as measured by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS)).
Internalising symptoms predicted a lesser decrease in functional impairment. The occurrence of obsessive–compulsive symptoms predicted a larger decrease in TTS. Baseline hypersensitivity and high scores on depressive symptoms favoured individual treatment. High baseline PUTS scores favoured group therapy.
This is the first study examining factors predicting and moderating perceived functional impairment following a therapeutic intervention. The study adds to the knowledge on predictors and moderators of TTS. Furthermore, this is the first study examining the effect of the BATS score. The study points towards factors that may influence treatment outcome and that require consideration when choosing supplemental treatment. This applies to comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms, and to the child's belief about their tics and premonitory urge.
The long-term cholesterol-lowering effect of replacing intake of SFA with PUFA is well established, but has not been fully explained mechanistically. We examined the postprandial response of meals with different fat quality on expression of lipid genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in subjects with and without familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Thirteen subjects with FH (who had discontinued lipid-lowering treatment ≥4 weeks prior to both test days) and fourteen normolipidaemic controls were included in a randomised controlled double-blind crossover study with two meals, each with 60 g of fat either mainly SFA (about 40% energy) or n-6 PUFA (about 40% energy). PBMC were isolated in fasting, and 4 and 6 h postprandial blood samples. Expression of thirty-three lipid genes was analysed by reverse transcription quantitative PCR. A linear mixed model was used to assess postprandial effects between meals and groups. There was a significant interaction between meal and group for MSR1 (P = 0·03), where intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced a larger reduction in gene expression in controls only (P = 0·01). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced larger reductions in gene expression levels of LDLR and FADS1/2, smaller increases of INSIG1 and FASN, and larger increases of ABCA1 and ABCG1 (P = 0·01 for all, no group interaction). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced changes in gene expression of cholesterol influx and efflux mediators in PBMC including lower LDLR and higher ABCA1/G1, potentially explaining the long-term cholesterol-raising effect of a high SFA intake.
From simple averaging to more sophisticated registration and restoration strategies, such as super-resolution (SR), there exist different computational techniques that use a series of images of the same object to generate enhanced images where noise and other distortions have been reduced. In this work, we provide qualitative and quantitative measurements of this enhancement for high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. These images are compared in two ways, qualitatively through visual inspection in real and reciprocal space, and quantitatively, through the calculation of objective measurements, such as signal-to-noise ratio and atom column roundness. Results show that these techniques improve the quality of the images. In this paper, we use an SR methodology that allows us to take advantage of the information present in the image frames and to reliably facilitate the analysis of more difficult regions of interest in experimental images, such as surfaces and interfaces. By acquiring a series of cross-sectional experimental images of magnetite (Fe3O4) thin films (111), we have generated interpolated images using averaging and SR, and reconstructed the atomic structure of the very top surface layer that consists of a full monolayer of Fe, with topmost Fe atoms in tetrahedrally coordinated sites.
No standardized surveillance criteria exist for surgical site infection after breast tissue expander (BTE) access. This report provides a framework for defining postaccess BTE infections and identifies contributing factors to infection during the expansion period. Implementing infection prevention guidelines for BTE access may reduce postaccess BTE infections.
Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA axis. Because the immune system and the HPA axis are tightly intertwined around the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), we examined peripheral GR functionality in the EpiPath cohort among participants who either had been exposed to ELA (separation from parents and/or institutionalization followed by adoption; n = 40) or had been reared by their biological parents (n = 72).
Expression of the strict GR target genes FKBP5 and GILZ as well as total and 1F and 1H GR transcripts were similar between groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in GR sensitivity, examined by the effects of dexamethasone on IL6 production in LPS-stimulated whole blood. Although we did not find differences in methylation at the GR 1F exon or promoter region, we identified a region of the GR 1H promoter (CpG 1-9) that showed lower methylation levels in ELA.
Our results suggest that peripheral GR signaling was unperturbed in our cohort and the observed immune phenotype does not appear to be secondary to an altered GR response to the perturbed HPA axis and glucocorticoid (GC) profile, although we are limited in our measures of GR activity and time points.
Oilseed rape seed yield has increased in the last 40 years in most countries, but this yield gain has not been accompanied by greater yield stability. The current study aimed to quantify the genotype by environment (G × E) interaction on oilseed rape yield, identify genotypes with broad adaptability and the main environmental drivers related to seed yield. A weighted two-stage mixed-model analysis was applied to official multi-environment trials of nine spring genotypes (G), in three locations (L) during 6 years (Y) on central and southern Argentine Pampas under rainfed conditions. Best linear unbiased prediction of seed yield ranged from 0.37 to 3.73 kg/ha. Fixed effect L × Y was highly significant and G variability was estimated as 130 kg/ha of standard deviation. Contrasting genotypes were identified by Shukla's stability index and two of those showed the best yield performance in the wettest year. Factor analysis explained 0.75 of total variation and discriminated genotypes with broad and specific adaptability, as well as combined environments according to the similarities in seed yield of the evaluated genotypes. Environmental loadings of Factor 2 were linearly associated with cumulative rainfall in the post-flowering period (up to 230 mm). It is concluded that (i) a significant G × L × Y interaction underlies the high variability of seed yield, (ii) two genotypes (G6 and G7) with high yield stability were identified, and (iii) G × E effects are associated with post-flowering rainfall.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
The burden of anthrax in wildlife is demonstrated through high numbers of sudden mortalities among herbivore species, including endangered animal species. East Africa is home of multiple species of faunal wildlife numbering in the millions but there are limited disease surveillance programmes, resulting in a paucity of information on the role of anthrax and other infectious diseases on declining wildlife populations in the region. We reviewed historical data on anthrax outbreaks from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spanning from 1999 to 2017 in Kenya to determine the burden, characteristics and spatial distribution of anthrax outbreaks. A total of 51 anthrax outbreaks associated with 1014 animal deaths were reported across 20 of 60 wildlife conservation areas located in six of the seven agro-ecological zones. Overall, 67% of the outbreaks were reported during the dry seasons, affecting 24 different wildlife species. Over 90% (22 of 24) of the affected species were herbivore, including 12 grazers, five browsers and five mixed grazers and browsers. Buffaloes (23.5%), black rhinos (21.6%) and elephants (17.6%) were the most frequently affected species. Our findings demonstrate the extensive geographic distribution of wildlife anthrax in the country, making it one of the important infectious diseases that threaten wildlife conservation.