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The Australian prime lamb industry is seeking to improve lean meat yield (LMY) as a means to increasing efficiency and profitability across the whole value chain. The LMY of prime lambs is affected by genetics and on-farm nutrition from birth to slaughter and is the total muscle weight relative to the total carcass weight. Under the production conditions of south eastern Australia, many ewe flocks experience a moderate reduction in nutrition in mid to late pregnancy due to a decrease in pasture availability and quality. Correcting nutritional deficits throughout gestation requires the feeding of supplements. This enables the pregnant ewe to meet condition score (CS) targets at lambing. However, limited resources on farm often mean it is difficult to effectively manage nutritional supplementation of the pregnant ewe flock. The impact of reduced ewe nutrition in mid to late pregnancy on the body composition of finishing lambs and subsequent carcass composition remains unknown. This study investigated the effect of moderately reducing ewe nutrition in mid to late gestation on the body composition of finishing lambs and carcass composition at slaughter on a commercial scale. Multiple born lambs to CS2.5 target ewes were lighter at birth and weaning, had lower feedlot entry and exit weights with lower pre-slaughter and carcass weights compared with CS3.0 and CS3.5 target ewes. These lambs also had significantly lower eye muscle and fat depth when measured by ultrasound prior to slaughter and carcass subcutaneous fat depth measured 110 mm from the spine along the 12th rib (GR 12th) and at the C-site (C-fat). Although carcasses were ~5% lighter, results showed that male progeny born to ewes with reduced nutrition from day 50 gestation to a target CS2.5 at lambing had a higher percentage of lean tissue mass as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and a lower percentage of fat during finishing and at slaughter, with the multiple born progeny from CS3.0 and CS3.5 target ewes being similar. These data suggest lambs produced from multiple bearing ewes that have had a moderate reduction in nutrition during pregnancy are less mature. This effect was also independent of lamb finishing system. The 5% reduction in carcass weight observed in this study would have commercially relevant consequences for prime lamb producers, despite a small gain in LMY.
The current study evaluated growth performance and digestion responses of finishing bulls fed diets containing 825 g/kg flint maize [dry matter (DM) basis] ground to medium (1.66 mm; MG) or coarse particle sizes (2.12 mm; CG), with added monensin (26 mg/kg; DM basis; MON) or a blend of essential oils (BEO) + exogenous α-amylase (AM; 90 mg/kg + 560 mg/kg commercial product, respectively, DM basis). In Expt 1, 256 Nellore bulls were blocked by initial body weight (BW) (360 ± 11.7 kg) and assigned to 48 pens in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Effect of a maize particle size × feed additive interaction was not detected for final BW, DM intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed efficiency. The DMI was greater for bulls fed BEO + AM v. MON. Final BW and ADG tended to be greater for bulls fed CG than MG maize. An interaction was detected for hot carcass weight which was 11 kg heavier for bulls fed BEO + AM v. MON in diets containing CG, but not MG particle size. In Expt 2, four ruminally cannulated Nellore steers were offered the same treatments as Expt 1, in a 4 × 4 Latin Square design. Intake of most nutrients was greater for steers fed CG than steers fed MG maize. In summary, feeding bulls CG maize increased growth performance and carcass characteristics compared with MG. The combination of BEO + AM resulted in heavier carcass weights compared with MON supplementation when included in diets containing CG maize.
Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
To better understand hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology in Punjab state, India, we estimated the distribution of HCV antibody positivity (anti-HCV+) using a 2013–2014 HCV household seroprevalence survey. Household anti-HCV+ clustering was investigated (a) by individual-level multivariable logistic regression, and (b) comparing the observed frequency of households with multiple anti-HCV+ persons against the expected, simulated frequency assuming anti-HCV+ persons are randomly distributed. Village/ward-level clustering was investigated similarly. We estimated household-level associations between exposures and the number of anti-HCV+ members in a household (N = 1593 households) using multivariable ordered logistic regression. Anti-HCV+ prevalence was 3.6% (95% confidence interval 3.0–4.2%). Individual-level regression (N = 5543 participants) found an odds ratio of 3.19 (2.25–4.50) for someone being anti-HCV+ if another household member was anti-HCV+. Thirty households surveyed had ⩾2 anti-HCV+ members, whereas 0/1000 (P < 0.001) simulations had ⩾30 such households. Excess village-level clustering was evident: 10 villages had ⩾6 anti-HCV+ members, occurring in 31/1000 simulations (P = 0.031). The household-level model indicated the number of household members, living in southern Punjab, lower socio-economic score, and a higher proportion having ever used opium/bhuki were associated with a household's number of anti-HCV+ members. Anti-HCV+ clusters within households and villages in Punjab, India. These data should be used to inform screening efforts.
A completely randomized experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of α-amylase (AMY) and glucoamylase (GLU) on total losses, fermentative profile, chemical composition and amylolytic activity of rehydrated maize. Eighty-four experimental silos of rehydrated maize [0.33 litres/kg ground maize, 4-mm theoretical particle size, and 625 g/kg dry matter (DM)] were assigned to the following treatments: (1) control (CON), no enzyme addition; (2) GLU added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize (as-fed); and (3) AMY added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize. Seven silos from each treatment were opened after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Differences among treatments were evaluated through orthogonal contrasts (CON v. enzymes, and AMY v. GLU). Time effects were decomposed using polynomial regression. Glucoamylase silage exhibited greater total losses than AMY. Enzymes increased acetate and lactic acid concentrations and decreased ethanol concentration. Regardless of treatment, gas, effluent and total fermentative losses linearly increased, whereas DM recovery linearly decreased with higher storage length. Glucoamylase silage had lower ammonia nitrogen and higher lactic acid concentrations than AMY. Enzyme treatments decreased silage neutral detergent fibre content and increased in vitro DM degradation. Glucoamylase silage exhibited a more moderate starch content and greater in vitro DM degradation than AMY. Storage time linearly decreased DM, starch and fibre content of rehydrated maize. In vitro degradation of DM linearly increased as the storage length increased. This study showed evidence that enzymes with amylolytic activity, particularly GLU, improve the fermentative profile and DM degradation of rehydrated maize silage.
Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
To identify genetic risk loci for major depressive disorder (MDD), two broad study design approaches have been applied: (1) to maximize sample size by combining data from different phenotype assessment modalities (e.g. clinical interview, self-report questionnaires) and (2) to reduce phenotypic heterogeneity through selecting more homogenous MDD subtypes. The value of these strategies has been debated. In this review, we summarize the most recent findings of large genomic studies that applied these approaches, and we highlight the merits and pitfalls of both approaches with particular attention to methodological and psychometric issues. We also discuss the results of analyses that investigated the heterogeneity of MDD. We conclude that both study designs are essential for further research. So far, increasing sample size has led to the identification of a relatively high number of genomic loci linked to depression. However, part of the identified variants may be related to a phenotype common to internalizing disorders and related traits. As such, samples containing detailed clinical information are needed to dissect depression heterogeneity and enable the potential identification of variants specific to a more restricted MDD phenotype. A balanced portfolio reconciling both study design approaches is the optimal approach to progress further in unraveling the genetic architecture of depression.
The trait of extraversion is one of the longest-standing domains that captures the social dimension of personality and can potentially explain the covariation of a wide variety of behaviors. To date, there is a growing recognition that human behavior should be specified not only through the psychological mechanisms underlying each trait but also through their underlying neurobehavioral systems. While imaging studies have revealed important initial insights into the structural and functional neural correlates of extraversion, current knowledge about the relationships between extraversion and brain structures is still rather limited, especially with regard to the relationship between extraversion and white matter (WM). In this study, we aimed to investigate WM microstructure in extraversion in greater depth. Thirty-five healthy volunteers (21 women; mean age 35) underwent magnetic resonance imaging, as a part of a larger project aimed at investigating the longitudinal effect of motor training. WM integrity was assessed using the diffusion tensor imaging technique combining multiple diffusion tensor measures. Extraversion was assessed by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised. Voxelwise correlation analyses between fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivities, and radial diffusivities maps and extraversion score showed decreased connectivity in the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and forceps major among individuals who had high extraversion ratings. In conclusion, individual differences in extraversion may reflect differential organization of the WM tracts connecting frontal cortex, temporal, and occipital areas, which are related to socioemotional and control functions.
The exact regularised point particle (ERPP) method is extended to treat the inter-phase momentum coupling between particles and fluid in the presence of walls by accounting for vorticity generation due to particles close to solid boundaries. The ERPP method overcomes the limitations of other methods by allowing the simulation of an extensive parameter space (Stokes number, mass loading, particle-to-fluid density ratio and Reynolds number) and of particle spatial distributions that are uneven (few particles per computational cell). The enhanced ERPP method is explained in detail and validated by considering the global impulse balance. In conditions when particles are located close to the wall, a common scenario in wall-bounded turbulent flows, the main contribution to the total impulse arises from the particle-induced vorticity at the solid boundary. The method is applied to direct numerical simulations of particle-laden turbulent pipe flow in the two-way coupling regime to address turbulence modulation. The effects of the mass loading, the Stokes number and the particle-to-fluid density ratio are investigated. The drag is either unaltered or increased by the particles with respect to the uncoupled case. No drag reduction is found in the parameter space considered. The momentum stress budget, which includes an extra stress contribution by the particles, provides the rationale behind the drag behaviour. The extra stress produces a momentum flux towards the wall that strongly modifies the viscous stress, the culprit of drag at solid boundaries.
A new era in radio astronomy will begin with the upcoming large-scale surveys planned at the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). ASKAP started its Early Science programme in October 2017 and several target fields were observed during the array commissioning phase. The Scorpio field was the first observed in the Galactic Plane in Band 1 (792–1 032 MHz) using 15 commissioned antennas. The achieved sensitivity and large field of view already allow to discover new sources and survey thousands of existing ones with improved precision with respect to previous surveys. Data analysis is currently ongoing to deliver the first source catalogue. Given the increased scale of the data, source extraction and characterisation, even in this Early Science phase, have to be carried out in a mostly automated way. This process presents significant challenges due to the presence of extended objects and diffuse emission close to the Galactic Plane.
In this context, we have extended and optimised a novel source finding tool, named Caesar, to allow extraction of both compact and extended sources from radio maps. A number of developments have been done driven by the analysis of the Scorpio map and in view of the future ASKAP Galactic Plane survey. The main goals are the improvement of algorithm performances and scalability as well as of software maintainability and usability within the radio community. In this paper, we present the current status of Caesar and report a first systematic characterisation of its performance for both compact and extended sources using simulated maps. Future prospects are discussed in the light of the obtained results.
We studied trends in the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) in LTCFs between 2009 and 2015 and determined the effect of participation in our network. Elder-care physicians reported weekly the number of cases of influenza-like illness, gastroenteritis, (probable) pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and all-cause mortality. Trends in the incidence of infection and mortality in relation to LTCF characteristics were calculated using multilevel univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Thirty LTCF participated for 3 years or more, 16 for 2 years and the remaining 12 LTCF for 1 year. During the study period, the median number of beds decreased from 158 to 139, whereas the percentage of residents with private bedrooms increased from 14% to 87%. UTIs were the most frequently reported infections, followed by (probable) pneumonia and gastroenteritis. Adjusted for calendar year and season, we observed a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of influenza-like illness (odds ratio (OR) = 0.8, P < 0.01) and (probable) pneumonia (OR = 0.8, P < 0.01) for each extra year an LTCF participated. Although there are other likely contributors, such as more private rooms and enhanced infection control measures, the decreasing trend of HAI in LTCFs participating in surveillance implies that surveillance is a valuable addition to current strategies to optimise infection control.
Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
The Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
Maternal systemic inflammation during pregnancy may restrict embryo−fetal growth, but the extent of this effect remains poorly established in undernourished populations. In a cohort of 653 maternal−newborn dyads participating in a multi-armed, micronutrient supplementation trial in southern Nepal, we investigated associations between maternal inflammation, assessed by serum α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein, in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and newborn weight, length and head and chest circumferences. Median (IQR) maternal concentrations in α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein in the first and third trimesters were 0.65 (0.53–0.76) and 0.40 (0.33–0.50) g/l, and 0.56 (0.25–1.54) and 1.07 (0.43–2.32) mg/l, respectively. α1-acid glycoprotein was inversely associated with birth size: weight, length, head circumference and chest circumference were lower by 116 g (P = 2.3 × 10−6), and 0.45 (P = 3.1 × 10−5), 0.18 (P = 0.0191) and 0.48 (P = 1.7 × 10−7) cm, respectively, per 50% increase in α1-acid glycoprotein averaged across both trimesters. Adjustment for maternal age, parity, gestational age, nutritional and socio-economic status and daily micronutrient supplementation failed to alter any association. Serum C-reactive protein concentration was largely unassociated with newborn size. In rural Nepal, birth size was inversely associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation during pregnancy as indicated by serum α1-acid glycoprotein.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
We provide an update on diagnostic methods for the detection of urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) in men and highlight that satisfactory urine-antigen diagnostics for UGS lag much behind that for intestinal schistosomiasis, where application of a urine-based point-of-care strip assay, the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) test, is now advocated. Making specific reference to male genital schistosomiasis (MGS), we place greater emphasis on parasitological detection methods and clinical assessment of internal genitalia with ultrasonography. Unlike the advances made in defining a clinical standard protocol for female genital schistosomiasis, MGS remains inadequately defined. Whilst urine filtration with microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma haematobium is a convenient but error-prone proxy of MGS, we describe a novel low-cost sampling and direct visualization method for the enumeration of ova in semen. Using exemplar clinical cases of MGS from our longitudinal cohort study among fishermen along the shoreline of Lake Malawi, the portfolio of diagnostic needs is appraised including: the use of symptomatology questionnaires, urine analysis (egg count and CCA measurement), semen analysis (egg count, circulating anodic antigen measurement and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis) alongside clinical assessment with portable ultrasonography.
To investigate, through a questionnaire, older adults’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics, knowledge, attitudes and practices in terms of food safety and healthy diet; and to develop dietary and hygiene indices able to represent participants’ nutritional and food safety behaviour, exploring their association with demographic and socio-economic factors.
One-year cross-sectional study.
Gemelli Teaching Hospital (Rome, Italy).
People aged ≥65 years, Italian speaking, accessing the Centre of Ageing Medicine.
Mean age of the sample was 74 (sd 7·7) years. Subjective perception of a safe diet was high: 64·2 % of respondents believed they have a balanced diet. Interviewees got informed about proper nutrition mainly from television, magazines, newspapers, Internet (29·9 %) and from health professionals (34·8 %) such as dietitians, whereas 15·4 % from general practitioners. Regarding food safety, 33·8 % of participants reported to consume expired food, even more than once per month; between 80 and 90 % of participants reported to follow food safety practices during preparation and cooking, even though 49·3 % defrosted food at room temperature. Calculated dietary and hygiene indices showed that the elderly participants were far from having optimal nutritional and food safety behaviours.
These results suggest it is necessary to increase the awareness of older adults in the matter of healthy diet and food safety. Specific and targeted educational interventions for the elderly and their caregivers could improve the adoption of recommended food safety practices and safe nutritional behaviours among older adults.
Laser–plasma interactions have been studied in detail over the past twenty years, as they show great potential for the next generation of particle accelerators. The interaction between an ultra-intense laser and a solid-state target produces a huge amount of particles: electrons and photons (X-rays and
-rays) at early stages of the process, with protons and ions following them. At SPARC_LAB Test Facility we have set up two diagnostic lines to perform simultaneous temporally resolved measurements on both electrons and protons.
The co-production and co-facilitation of recovery-focused education programmes is one way in which service users may be meaningfully involved as partners.
To evaluate the impact of a clinician and peer co-facilitated information programme on service users’ knowledge, confidence, recovery attitudes, advocacy and hope, and to explore their experience of the programme.
A sequential design was used involving a pre–post survey to assess changes in knowledge, confidence, advocacy, recovery attitudes and hope following programme participation. In addition, semi-structured interviews with programme participants were completed. Fifty-three participants completed both pre- and post-surveys and twelve individuals consented to interviews.
The results demonstrated statistically significant changes in service users’ knowledge about mental health issues, confidence and advocacy. These improvements were reflected in the themes which emerged from the interviews with participants (n = 12), who reported enhanced knowledge and awareness of distress and wellness, and a greater sense of hope. In addition, the peer influence helped to normalise experiences for participants, while the dual facilitation engendered equality of participation and increased the opportunity for meaningful collaboration between service users and practitioners.
The evaluation highlights the potential strengths of a service user and clinician co-facilitated education programme that acknowledges and respects the difference between the knowledge gained through self-experience and the knowledge gained through formal learning.