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The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE, c. 182 Ma) represents a major perturbation of the carbon cycle marked by widespread black shale deposition. Consequently, the onset of the T-OAE has been linked to the combined effects of global warming, high productivity, basin restriction and salinity stratification. However, the processes that led to termination of the event remain elusive. Here, we present palynological data from Arctic Siberia (Russia), the Viking Corridor (offshore Norway) and the Yorkshire Coast (UK), all spanning the upper Pliensbachian – upper Toarcian stages. Rather than a ‘dinoflagellate cyst black-out’, as recorded in T-OAE strata of NW Europe, both the Arctic and Viking Corridor records show high abundance and dinoflagellate diversity throughout the T-OAE interval as calibrated by C-isotope records. Significantly, in the Arctic Sea and Viking Corridor, numerous species of the Parvocysta and Phallocysta suites make their first appearance in the lower Toarcian Falciferum Zone much earlier than in Europe, where these key dinoflagellate species appeared suddenly during the Bifrons Zone. Our results indicate migrations of Arctic dinoflagellate species, driven by relative sea-level rise in the Viking Corridor and the establishment of a S-directed circulation from the Arctic Sea into the Tethys Ocean. The results support oceanographic models, but are at odds with some interpretations based on geochemical proxies. The migration of Arctic dinoflagellate species coincides with the end of the T-OAE and marks the arrival of oxygenated, low-salinity Arctic waters, triggering a regime change from persistent euxinia to more dynamic oxygen conditions.
To understand how exposure to victimization during adolescence and the presence of comorbid psychological conditions influence substance use treatment entry and substance use disorder diagnosis from 14 to 25 years old among serious juvenile offenders, this study included 1,354 serious juvenile offenders who were prospectively followed over 7 years. Growth mixture modeling was used to assess profiles of early victimization during adolescence (14–17 years). Discrete time survival mixture analysis was used to assess time to treatment entry and substance use disorder diagnosis. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) were used as predictors of survival time. Mixture models revealed three profiles of victimization: sustained poly-victimization, moderate/decreasing victimization, and low victimization. Youth in the sustained poly-victimization class were more likely to enter treatment earlier and have a substance use diagnosis earlier than other classes. PTSD was a significant predictor of treatment entry for youth in the sustained poly-victimization class, and MDD was a significant predictor of substance use disorder diagnosis for youth in the moderate/decreasing victimization class. Therefore, substance use prevention programming targeted at youth experiencing poly-victimization in early adolescence—especially those who have PTSD or MDD—is needed.
Eight ruminally-fistulated wethers were used to examine the temporal effects of afternoon (PM; 1600h) v. morning (AM; 0800 h) allocation of fresh spring herbage from a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)-based pasture on fermentation and microbial community dynamics. Herbage chemical composition was minimally affected by time of allocation, but daily mean ammonia concentrations were greater for the PM group. The 24-h pattern of ruminal fermentation (i.e. time of sampling relative to time of allocation), however, varied considerably for all fermentation variables (P⩽0.001). Most notably amongst ruminal fermentation characteristics, ammonia concentrations showed a substantial temporal variation; concentrations of ammonia were 1.7-, 2.0- and 2.2-fold greater in rumens of PM wethers at 4, 6 and 8h after allocation, respectively, compared with AM wethers. The relative abundances of archaeal and ciliate protozoal taxa were similar across allocation groups. In contrast, the relative abundances of members of the rumen bacterial community, like Prevotella 1 (P=0.04), Bacteroidales RF16 group (P=0.005) and Fibrobacter spp. (P=0.008) were greater for the AM group, whereas the relative abundance of Kandleria spp. was greater (P=0.04) for the PM group. Of these taxa, only Prevotella 1 (P=0.04) and Kandleria (P<0.001) showed a significant interaction between time of allocation and time of sampling relative to feed allocation. Relative abundances of Prevotella 1 were greater at 2h (P=0.05), 4h (P=0.003) and 6h (P=0.01) after AM allocation of new herbage, whereas relative abundances of Kandleria were greater at 2h (P=0.003) and 4h (P<0.001) after PM allocation. The early post-allocation rise in ammonia concentrations in PM rumens occurred simultaneously with sharp increases in the relative abundance of Kandleria spp. and with a decline in the relative abundance of Prevotella. All measures of fermentation and most microbial community composition data showed highly dynamic changes in concentrations and genus abundances, respectively, with substantial temporal changes occurring within the first 8h of allocating a new strip of herbage. The dynamic changes in the relative abundances of certain bacterial groups, in synchrony with a substantial diurnal variation in ammonia concentrations, has potential effects on the efficiency by which N is utilised by the grazing ruminant.
Based on the data from the Next Generation Virgo cluster Survey (NGVS), we statistically study the photometric properties of globular clusters (GCs), ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) and dwarf nuclei in the Virgo core (M87) region. We found an obvious negative color (g - z) gradient in GC system associate with M87, i.e. GCs in the outer regions are bluer. However, such color gradient does not exist in UCD system, neither in dwarf nuclei system around M87. In addition, we found that many UCDs are surrounded by extended, low surface brightness envelopes. The dwarf nuclei and UCDs show different spatial distributions from GCs, with dwarf nuclei and UCDs (especially for the UCDs with visible envelopes) lying at larger distances to the Virgo center. These results support the view that UCDs (at least for a fraction of UCDs) are more tied to dwarf nuclei than to GCs.
For rare blood groups the recruitment of donor relatives, for example siblings, is expected to be effective, since the probability of a similar rare blood group is likely. However, the likelihood differs between blood groups and is not commonly available. This paper provides a unified mathematical formulation to calculate such likelihoods. From a mathematical and probabilistic point of view, it is shown that these likelihoods can be obtained from the computation of a stationary genotype distribution. This, in turn, can be brought down to a system of quadratic stochastic operators. A generic mathematical approach is presented which directly leads to a stationary genotype distribution for arbitrary blood groups. The approach enables an exact computation for the effectiveness of recruiting next of kin for blood donorship. Next to an illustration of computations for ‘standard’ ABO and Rhesus-D blood groups, it is particularly illustrated for the extended Rhesus blood group system. Also other applications requiring next of kin blood group associations can be solved directly by using the unified mathematical formulation.
Estimates of the effectiveness of neurofeedback as a treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are mixed.
To investigate the long-term additional effects of neurofeedback (NFB) compared with treatment as usual (TAU) for adolescents with ADHD.
Using a multicentre parallel-randomised controlled trial design, 60 adolescents with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of ADHD receiving NFB+TAU (n=41) or TAU (n=19) were followed up. Neurofeedback treatment consisted of approximately 37 sessions of theta/sensorimotor rhythm (SMR)-training on the vertex (Cz). Outcome measures included behavioural self-reports and neurocognitive measures. Allocation to the conditions was unmasked.
At 1-year follow-up, inattention as reported by adolescents was decreased (range ηp2=0.23–0.36, P<0.01) and performance on neurocognitive tasks was faster (range ηp2=0.20–0.67, P<0.005) irrespective of treatment group.
Overall, NFB+TAU was as effective as TAU. Given the absence of robust additional effects of neurofeedback in the current study, results do not support the use of theta/SMR neurofeedback as a treatment for adolescents with ADHD and comorbid disorders in clinical practice.
Maternal prenatal stress during pregnancy is associated with fetal growth restriction and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, which may be mediated by impaired placental function. Imprinted genes control fetal growth, placental development, adult behaviour (including maternal behaviour) and placental lactogen production. This study examined whether maternal prenatal depression was associated with aberrant placental expression of the imprinted genes paternally expressed gene 3 (PEG3), paternally expressed gene 10 (PEG10), pleckstrin homology-like domain family a member 2 (PHLDA2) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (CDKN1C), and resulting impaired placental human placental lactogen (hPL) expression.
A diagnosis of depression during pregnancy was recorded from Manchester cohort participants’ medical notes (n = 75). Queen Charlotte's (n = 40) and My Baby and Me study (MBAM) (n = 81) cohort participants completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale self-rating psychometric questionnaire. Villous trophoblast tissue samples were analysed for gene expression.
In a pilot study, diagnosed depression during pregnancy was associated with a significant reduction in placental PEG3 expression (41%, p = 0.02). In two further independent cohorts, the Queen Charlotte's and MBAM cohorts, placental PEG3 expression was also inversely associated with maternal depression scores, an association that was significant in male but not female placentas. Finally, hPL expression was significantly decreased in women with clinically diagnosed depression (44%, p < 0.05) and in those with high depression scores (31% and 21%, respectively).
This study provides the first evidence that maternal prenatal depression is associated with changes in the placental expression of PEG3, co-incident with decreased expression of hPL. This aberrant placental gene expression could provide a possible mechanistic explanation for the co-occurrence of maternal depression, fetal growth restriction, impaired maternal behaviour and poorer offspring outcomes.
Bone metabolism fluctuates throughout the reproductive cycle of sows to enable foetal growth and milk production. Although increased bone mineralisation is conceivable in sows during reproduction, a study of mineralisation in function of parity has not been performed. This study evaluated the fluctuations of markers for bone metabolism in primiparous and multiparous sows throughout a reproductive cycle. The experiment included ten multiparous and five primiparous commercial hybrid sows from one herd. The sows were monitored for one reproductive cycle and fed according to commercial dietary standards. Blood samples were taken in the morning before feeding at fixed time intervals before (day -5) and during gestation (insemination (day 0), 21, 42, 63, 84), around parturition (day 108, 112, parturition (115), 118), and during lactation (day 122, 129, 143). Serum osteocalcin (OC) concentration increased in early and mid-gestation (P=0.002) and decreased at the end of gestation (P=0.001), whereas crosslaps (CTX) concentration decreased during early and mid-gestation (P=0.002) and increased towards the end of gestation (P=0.001). Towards the end of lactation serum levels of both markers increased (P=0.007 and 0.013, respectively). For hydroxyproline (HYP) no significant fluctuation in function of the reproductive cycle was detected. Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) concentration increased towards parturition for both primiparous and multiparous sows (P=0.001), whereas during lactation no significant fluctuations in function of the reproductive cycle were found. A parity effect was found for OC and CTX (P<0.010), but not for the other markers. These results demonstrate that bone metabolism differed between primiparous and multiparous sows, although in both groups a similar fluctuation throughout the reproductive cycle was observed.
Fluctuations in Zn metabolism throughout gestation and lactation might affect Zn requirements. However, scientific data on Zn requirements for breeding sows are limited. The objective of the present study was to assess the Zn status of primiparous and multiparous sows using different Zn status biomarkers, to identify periods of critical Zn status throughout the reproductive cycle at different parities. Blood samples were taken after overnight fasting before feeding in the morning from five primiparous and ten multiparous sows at fixed time intervals during gestation (days − 5, 0 (insemination), 21, 42, 63 and 84), around parturition (days 108, 112, 115 (parturition) and 118) and during lactation (days 122, 129 and 143 (weaning)). At parturition, blood samples were collected from two randomly selected piglets per sow before colostrum intake. Plasma was analysed for Zn and Cu contents, whereas serum was analysed for alkaline phosphatase, metallothionein and albumin concentrations. Independently of parity, all biomarkers fluctuated differently during gestation and lactation (P< 0·050). This reflects their different roles in Zn metabolism, and suggests that the choice of a Zn status biomarker necessitates careful consideration. Low average plasma Zn concentration at the end of gestation and throughout lactation seem to be replenished towards weaning.
Sows housed in groups have to move through their pen to fulfil their behavioural and physiological needs such as feeding and resting. In addition to causing pain and discomfort, lameness may restrict the ability of sows to fulfil such needs. The aim of our study was to investigate the extent to which the mobility of sows is affected by different degrees of lameness. Mobility was measured as the sow’s willingness or capability to cover distances. Feed-restricted hybrid sows with different gait scores were subjected to a feed reward collection test in which they had to walk distances to obtain subsequent rewards. In all, 29 group-housed sows at similar gestation stage (day 96.6±7 s.d.) were visually recorded for gait and classified as non-lame, mildly lame, moderately lame or severely lame. All sows received 2.6 kg of standard commercial gestation feed per day. The test arena consisted of two feeding locations separated from each other by a Y-shaped middle barrier. Feed rewards were presented at the two feeders in turn, using both light and sound cues to signal the availability of a new feed reward. Sows were individually trained during 5 non-consecutive days for 10 min/day with increasing barrier length (range: 0 to 3.5 m) each day. After training, sows were individually tested once per day on 3 non-consecutive days with the maximum barrier length such that they had to cover 9.3 m to walk from one feeder to the other. The outcome variable was the number of rewards collected in a 15-min time span. Non-lame and mildly lame sows obtained more rewards than moderately lame and severely lame sows (P<0.01). However, no significant difference was found between non-lame and mildly lame sows (P=0.69), nor between moderately lame and severely lame sows (P=1.00). This feed reward collection test indicates that both moderately lame and severely lame sows are limited in their combined ability and willingness to walk, but did not reveal an effect of mild lameness on mobility. These findings suggest that moderately and more severely lame sows, but not mildly lame sows, might suffer from reduced access to valuable resources in group housing systems.
Se bioavailability in commercial pet foods has been shown to be highly variable. The aim of the present study was to identify dietary factors associated with in vitro accessibility of Se (Se Aiv) in pet foods. Se Aiv is defined as the percentage of Se from the diet that is potentially available for absorption after in vitro digestion. Sixty-two diets (dog, n 52; cat, n 10) were in vitro enzymatically digested: fifty-four of them were commercially available (kibble, n 20; pellet, n 8; canned, n 17; raw meat, n 6; steamed meat, n 3) and eight were unprocessed (kibble, n 4; canned, n 4) from the same batch as the corresponding processed diets. The present investigation examined if Se Aiv was affected by diet type, dietary protein, methionine, cysteine, lysine and Se content, DM, organic matter and crude protein (CP) digestibility. Se Aiv differed significantly among diet types (P< 0·001). Canned and steamed meat diets had a lower Se Aiv than pelleted and raw meat diets. Se Aiv correlated positively with CP digestibility in extruded diets (kibbles, n 19; r 0·540, P =0·017) and negatively in canned diets (n 16; r − 0·611, P =0·012). Moreover, the canning process (n 4) decreased Se Aiv (P =0·001), whereas extrusion (n 4) revealed no effect on Se Aiv (P =0·297). These differences in Se Aiv between diet types warrant quantification of diet type effects on in vivo Se bioavailability.
Domestic cats are obligate carnivores and in this light hindgut fermentation has been considered unimportant in this species. However, a diverse microbiota has been found in the small and large intestines of domestic cats. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo studies support the hypothesis that microbial fermentation is significant in felines with potential benefits to the host. Results on microbiota composition and microbial counts in different regions of the feline gastrointestinal tract are compiled, including a description of modulating host and technical factors. Additionally, the effects of dietary fibre supplementation on the microbiota composition are described. In a second section, in vitro studies, using inocula from fresh feline faeces and focusing on the fermentation characteristics of diverse plant substrates, are described. In vivo studies have investigated the effects of dietary fibre on a broad range of physiological outcomes. Results of this research, together with studies on effects of plant fibre on colonic morphology and function, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and the effects of plant fibre on disease conditions that require a decrease in dietary protein intake, are shown in a third section of the present review. Conclusively, for fructans and beet pulp, for example, diverse beneficial effects have been demonstrated in the domestic cat. Both dietary fibre sources are regularly used in the pet food industry. More research is warranted to reveal the potential benefits of other fibre sources that can be used on a large scale in feline diets for healthy and diseased cats.
The present study evaluated the effect of different levels of energy restriction on metabolic parameters in obese ponies. Relative weight changes, markers of lipid metabolism and oxidant/antioxidant balance were monitored. A total of eighteen obese (body condition score ≥ 7/9) Shetland ponies were studied over a 23·5-week trial, which was divided into three periods. The first period involved a 4-week adaptation period in which each animal was fed 100 % of their maintenance energy requirements needed to maintain a stable obese body weight (MERob). This was followed by a 16·5-week weight-loss period in which ponies were assigned to receive either 100 % (control group, CONTROL), 80 % (slow weight-loss (SLOW) group) or 60 % (rapid weight-loss (RAPID) group) of their MERob. During the 3-week end-phase period, all ponies were again fed 100 % of their MERob. Relative weight loss was higher in the RAPID group (P< 0·001) compared with the SLOW group. No linear relationship was found as a doubling of the percentage of energy restriction was accompanied by a tripling of the percentage of weight loss. Relative weight gain afterwards in the end-phase period was higher in the RAPID group (P< 0·001) compared with the SLOW and CONTROL groups. During the weight-loss period, TAG and NEFA concentrations were highest in the RAPID group, as were α-tocopherol and ferric-reducing ability of plasma concentrations. After 8 weeks of weight loss, the concentrations of advanced oxidation protein products were higher in the RAPID group compared with the SLOW and CONTROL groups (P< 0·001). In conclusion, the level of energy restriction influences the extent of changes in oxidant/antioxidant balance. Practically, more severe energy restriction regimens may be associated with a greater regain of weight after the restriction period.
Although being the main bottlenecks for commercial poultry development in Togo,
feeding and management practices retain little attention. Indeed, there is no
proficient feed miller unit which can provide high quality feed according to the
needs of the farmers. This is due to a lack of information on nutrition and
relevant management tools or people trained as poultry farm managers. With the
aim to alleviate poverty and hunger in Togo, an inter-university project
[Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) and University of Lome (UL)] as a model for
poultry development was being run from June 2006 to May 2012. Specific
objectives of the project are 1) to provide insights and disseminate guidelines
and information on adapted methods to improve poultry production and 2) to focus
on development of new technologies in poultry production and implementation of
research on better poultry nutrition, feeding and management practices.
In strict carnivorous domestic cats, a metabolic competition arises between the need to use amino acids for gluconeogenesis and for protein synthesis both in health and disease. The present study investigated the amino acid-sparing potential of propionic acid in cats using dietary propionylated starch (HAMSP) supplementation. A total of thirty cats were fed a homemade diet, supplemented with either HAMSP, acetylated starch (HAMSA) or celite (Control) for three adaptation weeks. Propionylated starch was hypothesised to provide propionic acid as an alternative gluconeogenic substrate to amino acids, whereas acetic acid from HAMSA would not provide any gluconeogenic benefit. Post-adaptation, a 5-d total faecal collection was carried out to calculate apparent protein digestibility coefficients. Fresh faecal and blood samples were collected to analyse fermentation endproducts and metabolites. The apparent protein digestibility coefficients did not differ between supplements (P = 0·372) and were not affected by the protein intake level (P = 0·808). Faecal propionic acid concentrations were higher in HAMSP than in HAMSA (P = 0·018) and Control (P = 0·003) groups, whereas concentrations of ammonia (P = 0·007) were higher in HAMSA than in HAMSP cats. Tendencies for or higher propionylcarnitine concentrations were observed in HAMSP compared with HAMSA (P = 0·090) and Control (P = 0·037) groups, and for tiglyl- + 3-methylcrotonylcarnitine concentrations in HAMSP as compared with Control (P = 0·028) cats. Methylmalonylcarnitine concentrations did not differ between groups (P = 0·740), but were negatively correlated with the protein intake level (r –0·459, P = 0·016). These results suggest that HAMSP cats showed more saccharolytic fermentation patterns than those supplemented with HAMSA, as well as signs of sparing of valine in cats with a sufficient protein intake.
Discovery of ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) in the past 15 years blurs the once thought clear division between classic globular clusters (GCs) and early-type galaxies. The intermediate nature of UCDs, which are larger and more massive than typical GCs but more compact than typical dwarf galaxies, has triggered hot debate on whether UCDs should be considered galactic in origin or merely the most extreme GCs. Previous studies of various scaling relations, stellar populations and internal dynamics did not give an unambiguous answer to the primary origin of UCDs. In this contribution, we present the first ever detailed study of global dynamics of 97 UCDs (rh ≳ 10 pc) associated with the central cD galaxy of the Virgo cluster, M87. We found that UCDs follow a different radial number density profile and different rotational properties from GCs. The orbital anisotropies of UCDs are tangentially-biased within ~ 40 kpc of M87 and become radially-biased with radius further out. In contrast, the blue GCs, which have similar median colors to our sample of UCDs, become more tangentially-biased at larger radii beyond ~ 40 kpc. Our analysis suggests that most UCDs in M87 are not consistent with being merely the most luminous and extended examples of otherwise normal GCs. The radially-biased orbital structure of UCDs at large radii is in general agreement with the scenario that most UCDs originated from the tidally threshed dwarf galaxies.
Most gait-scoring scales for pigs have a limited number of categories, supposedly to improve repeatability. However, reducing the number of categories could lead to loss of information if the observers’ discriminative capacities are underused. With a recently estimated within-herd prevalence of sow lameness of 8.8% to 16.9% in the European Union and the associated losses, the availability of reliable tools for the timely detection of initial cases warrants attention. This study investigated the intra- and inter-observer repeatability (intra-OR and inter-OR) of three gait-scoring scales for sows: a continuous ‘tagged’ visual analogue scale (tVAS, measured in mm), a 5-point and a 2-point ordinal scale (5P and 2P), all with the same descriptors. Veterinary medicine students (n=108) were trained to use the scales and then asked to score 90 videos (30 per scale) of sows with normal and abnormal gait. Thirty-six videos were shown once and 18 were randomly shown three times, of which one mirrored horizontally. The students’ opinions on the scales were also collected. Intra- and inter-OR were higher with the tVAS than the 2P scale (inter-OR: 0.73 v. 0.60; P<0.05. Intra-OR: 0.80 v. 0.67; P<0.05). Intra-OR was higher with the 5P (0.81) than the 2P scale (0.67; P<0.05). For all three scales, repeatabilities were lower (P<0.05) for non-lame sows (gait score of ⩽45 mm on the tVAS) than for sows showing some signs of lameness (gait score>45 mm). Video order (first 45 v. last 45 clips), mirroring, users’ opinions on the scales, and previous declared experience in handling pigs or scoring lameness in other species had no effect on repeatabilities. Correlations between the students’ and experts’ scores were high (tVAS=0.92; 5P=0.91; 2P=0.88) but the association for the 2P was not linear and the frequency distribution showed lower correlations for a group of students. This study confirms recent evidence that it is possible to design high-resolution gait-scoring scales that do not reduce observer repeatability. Visual gait-scoring scales with fewer than five categories are likely to entail loss of information on lameness in individual sows.
Directing protein and energy sources towards lactation is crucial to optimise milk production in sows but how this influences colostrum yield (CY) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to identify associations between CY and the sow’s use of nutrient resources. We included 37 sows in the study that were all housed, fed and managed similarly. Parity, back fat change (ΔBF), CY and performance parameters were measured. We obtained sow serum samples 3 to 4 days before farrowing and at D1 of lactation following overnight fasting. These were analysed for non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), urea, creatinine, (iso)butyrylcarnitine (C4) and immunoglobulins G (IgG) and A (IgA). The colostrum samples collected 3, 6 and 24 h after the birth of the first piglet were analysed for their nutrient and immunoglobulins content. The technical parameters associated with CY were parity group (a; parities 1 to 3=value 0 v. parities 4 to 7=value 1) and ΔBF D85-D109 of gestation (mm) (b): CY (g)=4290–842a–113b. (R2=0.41, P<0.001). The gestation length (P<0.001) and the ΔBF between D109 and D1 of lactation (P=0.050) were identified as possible underlying factors of the parity group. The metabolic parameters associated with CY were C4 at 3 to 4 days before farrowing (a), and 10logC4 (b) and 10logNEFA (c) at D1 of lactation: CY (g)=3582–1604a+1007b−922c (R2=0.39, P=0.001). The colostrum composition was independent of CY. The negative association between CY and ΔBF D85-D109 of gestation could not be further explained based on our data. Sows that were catabolic 1 week prior to farrowing seemed unable to produce colostrum to their full potential. This was especially the case for sows with parities 4 to 7, although they had a similar feed intake, litter birth weight and colostrum composition compared with parities 1 to 3 sows. In conclusion, this study showed that parity and the use of body fat and protein reserves during late gestation were associated with CY, indicating that proper management of the sow’s body condition during late gestation could optimise the intrinsic capacity of the sow’s CY.