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This paper presents a novel solution for precision draping of prepreg composite fabrics onto double curved molds. Our contributions relate to system design, including hardware and software components, and to system integration. On the hardware side, design and implementation of a drape tool with up to 120 suction cups positioned individually by linear actuators are described. On the software side, design and implementation of the software architecture are presented, along with necessary algorithms within sensor technologies and mathematical modeling. The essential system’s components were verified individually, and the entire integrated system was successfully validated in the Proof-of-Concept experiments, performed on an experimental physical model of the system.
Ascarid parasites infect a variety of hosts and regular anthelmintic treatment is recommended for all species. Parascaris spp. is the only ascarid species with widespread anthelmintic resistance, which allows for the study of resistance mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to establish an in vitro drug exposure protocol for adult anthelmintic-naïve Parascaris spp. and report a preliminary transcriptomic analysis in response to drug exposure. Live worms were harvested from foal necropsies and maintained in RPMI-1640 at 37 °C. Serial dilutions of oxibendazole (OBZ) and ivermectin (IVM) were prepared for in vitro drug exposure, and worm viability was monitored over time. In a second drug trial, worms were used for transcriptomic analysis. The final drug concentrations employed were OBZ at 40.1 μm (10 μg mL−1) and IVM at 1.1 μm (1 μg mL−1) for 24 and 3 h, respectively. The RNA-seq analysis revealed numerous differentially expressed genes, with some being potentially related to drug detoxification and regulatory mechanisms. This report provides a method for in vitro drug exposure and the phenotypic responses for Parascaris spp., which could be extrapolated to other ascarid parasites. Finally, it also provides preliminary transcriptomic data following drug exposure as a reference point for future studies of Parascaris spp.
Tail biting is a welfare and economical concern in modern pig production. One common preventive measure used throughout the world is tail docking, which is generally considered one of the most effective methods for limiting tail biting. However, tail docking is a painful mutilation and systematic tail docking is not allowed in the EU. Therefore, the aim was to compare pig behaviour and the prevalence of tail biting in finishing pigs with intact tails housed in two different pen designs under Danish commercial conditions. PEN1 was a traditional Danish pen and PEN2 was inspired by Swedish finisher pen design and had a larger proportion of solid floor area (PEN1: 1/3 and PEN2: 2/3), reduced group size (PEN1: 15 and PEN2: 12), increased space allowance per head (PEN1: 0.7 m2 and PEN2: 0.89 m2) and straw allocated on the floor (PEN2) whereas straw was provided in a straw rack in PEN1. Tail damage observations were carried out daily by the stockperson and every 2 weeks one trained research technician assessed tail damages according to a tail scoring system. Tail lesions were observed in 51% of PEN1 and in 11% of PEN2 (P < 0.001). PEN1 had higher prevalence of tail damages than PEN2 (23% v. 5%, P < 0.001). Behavioural observations were carried out by the use of video recordings. Pigs in PEN2 tended to spend more time on tail-directed behaviour than pigs in PEN1 (P = 0.07), whereas pigs in PEN1 tended to spend more time on ear-directed behaviour (P = 0.08). Pigs in PEN2 spent more time on straw-directed behaviour compared to pigs in PEN1 (P < 0.001). Pen design did not affect time spent on other penmate-directed behaviour. In addition, the level of welfare between the two pen designs was compared using the Welfare Quality® protocol. PEN2 received an overall score of ‘excellent’ while PEN1 scored ‘enhanced’. PEN2 scored higher on all principles besides ‘good health’, where PEN1 scored better on lameness and wounds. The main measurements accounting for the differences were water supply, huddling, tail biting, social behaviour and fear of humans. In conclusion, the combination of increased space allowance, increased area of solid flooring, straw allocated onto the floor and reduced group size (PEN2) resulted in fewer tail damaged pigs and a better overall welfare assessment, despite a tendency for more tail-directed behaviour.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
In order to exploit potentials of 20–40% reduction of herbicide use, as documented by use of Decision Support Systems (DSS), where requirements for manual field inspection constitute a major obstacle, large numbers of digital pictures of weed infestations have been collected and analysed manually by crop advisors. Results were transferred to: 1) DSS, which determined needs for control and connected, optimized options for control returned options for control and 2) convolutional, neural networks, which in this way were trained to enable automatic analysis of future pictures, which support both field- and site-specific integrated weed management.
Adverse psychosocial working environments characterized by job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms among employees, but evidence on clinically diagnosed depression is scarce. We examined job strain as a risk factor for clinical depression.
We identified published cohort studies from a systematic literature search in PubMed and PsycNET and obtained 14 cohort studies with unpublished individual-level data from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium. Summary estimates of the association were obtained using random-effects models. Individual-level data analyses were based on a pre-published study protocol.
We included six published studies with a total of 27 461 individuals and 914 incident cases of clinical depression. From unpublished datasets we included 120 221 individuals and 982 first episodes of hospital-treated clinical depression. Job strain was associated with an increased risk of clinical depression in both published [relative risk (RR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47–2.13] and unpublished datasets (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.55). Further individual participant analyses showed a similar association across sociodemographic subgroups and after excluding individuals with baseline somatic disease. The association was unchanged when excluding individuals with baseline depressive symptoms (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.94–1.65), but attenuated on adjustment for a continuous depressive symptoms score (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.81–1.32).
Job strain may precipitate clinical depression among employees. Future intervention studies should test whether job strain is a modifiable risk factor for depression.
Psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might be associated with reduced risk of specific causes of death.
In this matched cohort study, we included patients, who after an episode of deliberate self-harm received psychosocial therapy at a Suicide Prevention Clinic in Denmark between 1992 and 2010. We used propensity score matching in a 1:3 ratio to select a comparison group from 59 046 individuals who received standard care. National Danish registers supplied data on specific causes of death over a 20-year follow-up period.
At the end of follow-up, 391 (6.9%) of 5678 patients in the psychosocial therapy group had died, compared with 1736 (10.2%) of 17 034 patients in the matched comparison group. Lower odds ratios of dying by mental or behavioural disorders [0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37–0.79], alcohol-related causes (0.63, 95% CI 0.50–0.80) and other diseases and medical conditions (0.61, 95% CI 0.49–0.77) were noted in the psychosocial therapy group. Also, we found a reduced risk of dying by suicide as well as other external causes, however, not by neoplasms and circulatory system diseases. Numbers needed to treat were 212.9 (95% CI 139.5–448.4) for mental or behavioural disorders as a cause of death, 111.1 (95% CI 79.2–210.5) for alcohol-related causes and 96.8 (95% CI 69.1–161.8) for other diseases and medical conditions.
Our findings indicate that psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might reduce long-term risk of death from select medical conditions and external causes. These promising results should be tested in a randomized design.
Mutants of Bacillus subtilis can be developed to overproduce Val in vitro. It was hypothesized that addition of Bacillus subtilis mutants to pig diets can be a strategy to supply the animal with Val. The objective was to investigate the effect of Bacillus subtilis mutants on growth performance and blood amino acid (AA) concentrations when fed to piglets. Experiment 1 included 18 pigs (15.0±1.1 kg) fed one of three diets containing either 0.63 or 0.69 standardized ileal digestible (SID) Val : Lys, or 0.63 SID Val : Lys supplemented with a Bacillus subtilis mutant (mutant 1). Blood samples were obtained 0.5 h before feeding and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h after feeding and analyzed for AAs. In Experiment 2, 80 piglets (9.1±1.1 kg) were fed one of four diets containing 0.63 or 0.67 SID Val : Lys, or 0.63 SID Val : Lys supplemented with another Bacillus subtilis mutant (mutant 2) or its parent wild type. Average daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio were measured on days 7, 14 and 21. On day 17, blood samples were taken and analyzed for AAs. On days 24 to 26, six pigs from each dietary treatment were fitted with a permanent jugular vein catheter, and blood samples were taken for AA analysis 0.5 h before feeding and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h after feeding. In experiment 1, Bacillus subtilis mutant 1 tended (P<0.10) to increase the plasma levels of Val at 2 and 3 h post-feeding, but this was not confirmed in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, Bacillus subtilis mutant 2 and the wild type did not result in a growth performance different from the negative and positive controls. In conclusion, results obtained with the mutant strains of Bacillus subtilis were not better than results obtained with the wild-type strain, and for both strains, the results were not different than the negative control.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
In the EU, pigs must have permanent access to manipulable materials such as straw, rope, wood, etc. Long straw can fulfil this function, but can increase labour requirements for cleaning pens, and result in problems with blocked slatted floors and slurry systems. Chopped straw might be more practical, but what is the effect on pigs’ behaviour of using chopped straw instead of long straw? Commercial pigs in 1/3 slatted, 2/3 solid pens of 15 pigs were provided with either 100 g/pig per day of long straw (20 pens) or of chopped straw (19 pens). Behavioural observations were made of three focal pigs per pen (one from each of small, medium and large weight tertiles) for one full day between 0600 and 2300 h at each of ~40 and ~80 kg. The time spent rooting/investigating overall (709 s/pig per hour at 40 kg to 533 s/pig per hour at 80 kg), or directed to the straw/solid floor (497 s/pig per hour at 40 kg to 343 s/pig per hour at 80 kg), was not affected by straw length but reduced with age. Time spent investigating other pigs (83 s/pig per hour at 40 kg), the slatted floor (57 s/pig per hour) or pen fixtures (21 s/pig per hour) was not affected by age or straw length. Aggressive behaviour was infrequent, but lasted about twice as long in pens with chopped straw (2.3 s/pig per hour at 40 kg) compared with pens with long straw (1.0 s/pig per hour at 40 kg, P=0.060). There were no significant effects of straw length on tail or ear lesions, but shoulders were significantly more likely to have minor scratches with chopped straw (P=0.031), which may reflect the higher levels of aggression. Smaller pigs showed more rooting/investigatory behaviour, and in particular directed towards the straw/solid floor and the slatted floor than their larger pen-mates. Females exhibited more straw and pen fixture-directed behaviour than males. There were no effects of pig size or sex on behaviour directed towards other pigs. In summary, pigs spent similar amounts of time interacting with straw/solid floor when long and chopped straw were provided, and most aspects of pig-directed behaviour and injuries were not affected by straw length. There was an increase in pigs with minor shoulder lesions with chopped straw, perhaps because of increased aggression. The use of chopped straw as an enrichment material for pigs warrants further investigation in larger and more detailed studies.
The assessment of animal welfare can include resource-based or animal-based measures. Official animal welfare inspections in Denmark primarily control compliance with animal welfare legislation based on resource measures (e.g. housing system) and usually do not regard animal response parameters (e.g. clinical and behavioural observations). Herds selected for welfare inspections are sampled by a risk-based strategy based on existing register data. The aim of the present study was to evaluate register data variables as predictors of dairy herds with violations of the animal welfare legislation (VoAWL) defined as occurrence of at least one of the two most frequently violated measures found at recent inspections in Denmark, namely (a) presence of injured animals not separated from the rest of the group and/or (b) animals in a condition warranting euthanasia still being present in the herd. A total of 25 variables were extracted from the Danish Cattle Database and assessed as predictors using a multivariable logistic analysis of a data set including 73 Danish dairy herds, which all had more than 100 cows and cubicle loose-housing systems. Univariable screening was used to identify variables associated with VoAWL at a P-value<0.2 for the inclusion in a multivariable logistic regression analysis. Backward selection procedures identified the following variables for the final model predictive of VoAWL: increasing standard deviation of milk yield for first lactation cows, high bulk tank somatic cell count (⩾250 000 cells/ml) and suspiciously low number of recorded veterinary treatments (⩽25 treatments/100 cow years). The identified predictors may be explained by underlying management factors leading to impaired animal welfare in the herd, such as poor hygiene, feeding and management of dry or calving cows and sick animals. However, further investigations are required for causal inferences to be established.
Straw possesses many characteristics that make it attractive to pigs and can therefore be effective in preventing negative penmate-directed behaviours. However, straw is difficult to handle in current vacuum slurry systems under most commercial conditions and can therefore only be used in limited amounts. To occupy pigs effectively, straw must remain attractive to pigs throughout the whole day; hence, have a certain degree of novelty. We investigated the penmate-directed behaviour of liquid-fed growing pigs in a production herd, assigned to five experimental treatments: 1×25, 1×50, 1×100, 2×50 and 4×25 g of chopped straw/pig per day, with 20 replicates of each treatment (pen was regarded as experimental unit). Behaviour was observed at two different growth stages; ~40 and 80 kg live weight of the pigs. Activity and exploratory behaviour directed at penmates, straw, pen components and the slatted floor were registered continuously for 15 min of each hour during day time (0600 to 2200 h) by use of video observation of three focal pigs per pen. The pigs were active for about one-third of the day corresponding to ~5 h/day. Of the active time, an average of 7% (35 min) was spent on penmate-directed behaviour. The pigs were more active and increased their straw-directed behaviour when provided with 100 g straw/pig per day compared with 25 and 50 g (P<0.001). However, penmate-directed behaviour was not reduced with an increased amount of straw (P>0.05), and there was no effect on pigs’ behaviour when straw provision was increased per day (P>0.05). Pigs became less active and reduced their straw-directed activities when their weight increased from 40 to 80 kg live weight (P<0.001), but the amount of penmate-directed behaviour was similar (P>0.05). Further, the residual straw results indicated that perhaps a more frequent straw provision could help establish a more even level of fresh available straw during the day. However, the frequent straw provision did not occupy pigs more than one daily allocation did. In conclusion, there was no difference in penmate-directed behaviour of the pigs when given 25 or 50 g of straw/pig per day compared with 100 g of straw/pig per day, nor were there any difference when 100 g of straw/pig per day was provided more frequently.
To identify risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Danish patients consulting general practice with gastrointestinal symptoms, a prospective matched case-control study was performed; cases (N = 259) had positive cultures for toxigenic C. difficile and controls (N = 455) negative cultures. Data were analysed by conditional logistic regression. In patients aged ⩾2 years (138 cases), hospitalization [odds ratio (OR) 8·4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·1–23], consumption of beef (OR 5·5, 95% CI 2·0–15), phenoxymethylpenicillin (OR 15, 95% CI 2·7–82), dicloxacillin (OR 27, 95% CI 3·6–211), and extended spectrum penicillins (OR 9·2, 95% CI 1·9–45) were associated with CDI. In patients aged <2 years none of these were associated with CDI, but in a subgroup analysis contact with animals was associated with CDI (OR 8·1, 95% CI 1·0–64). This study emphasizes narrow-spectrum penicillins, and suggests beef consumption, as risk factors for CDI in adults, and indicates a different epidemiology of CDI in infants.
We have developed a sheep model to facilitate studies of the fetal programming effects of mismatched perinatal and postnatal nutrition. During the last trimester of gestation, twenty-one twin-bearing ewes were fed a normal diet fulfilling norms for energy and protein (NORM) or 50 % of a normal diet (LOW). From day 3 postpartum to 6 months (around puberty) of age, one twin lamb was fed a conventional (CONV) diet and the other a high-carbohydrate–high-fat (HCHF) diet, resulting in four groups of offspring: NORM-CONV; NORM-HCHF; LOW-CONV; LOW-HCHF. At 6 months of age, half of the lambs (all males and three females) were slaughtered for further examination and the other half (females only) were transferred to a moderate sheep diet until slaughtered at 24 months of age (adulthood). Maternal undernutrition during late gestation reduced the birth weight of LOW offspring (P< 0·05), and its long-term effects were increased adrenal size in male lambs and adult females (P< 0·05), increased neonatal appetite for fat-(P= 0·004) rather than carbohydrate-rich feeds (P< 0·001) and reduced deposition of subcutaneous fat in both sexes (P< 0·05). Furthermore, LOW-HCHF female lambs had markedly higher visceral:subcutaneous fat ratios compared with the other groups (P< 0·001). Postnatal overfeeding (HCHF) resulted in obesity (>30 % fat in soft tissue) and widespread ectopic lipid deposition. In conclusion, our sheep model revealed strong pre- and postnatal impacts on growth, food preferences and fat deposition patterns. The present findings support a role for subcutaneous adipose tissue in the development of visceral adiposity, which in humans is known to precede the development of the metabolic syndrome in human adults.
There is a well-established association between psychotic disorders and subsequent offending but the extent to which those who develop psychosis might have a prior history of offending is less clear. Little is known about whether the association between illness and offending exists in non-psychotic disorders. The aim of this study was to determine whether the association between mental disorder and offending is present prior to illness onset in psychotic and non-psychotic disorders.
In a nested case-control study, cases (n=101 890) with a first psychiatric contact during the period 1995 to 2006 were identified and matched by age and gender to population-based controls (n=2 236 195). Exposure was defined as prior criminal and violent offending.
Males with one offence had an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 2.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.26–2.40] for psychiatric admission whereas two or more convictions yielded an IRR of 4.97 (95% CI 4.83–5.11). For violent offending the associations were stronger and IRRs of 3.97 (95% CI 3.81–4.12) and 6.18 (95% CI 5.85–6.52) were found for one and several offences respectively. Estimates for females were of a similar magnitude. The pattern was consistent across most diagnostic subgroups, although some variability in effect sizes was seen, and persisted after adjustment for substance misuse and socio-economic status (SES).
A prior history of offending is present in almost one in five patients presenting to mental health services, which makes it an important issue for clinicians to consider when assessing current and future risks and vulnerabilities.