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Dichanthium annulatum is one of the dominant grasses of India, North Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, Fiji, New Guinea, Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. This drought-tolerant grass is an excellent fodder in mixed pastures. Developing varieties with improved quality and tolerance to various abiotic stresses is hampered due to its apomictic nature. Germplasm collection, characterization, genetic diversity analysis and core subset development followed by selection for desirable traits seems to be the most plausible breeding tool for developing new cultivars. In the present study, 498 genotypes collected from different agro-ecological zones in India were included. Genotypes were characterized for various metric and non-numeric traits; and the nutritional parameters. Agglomerative clustering analysis, using the Euclidean distance method, showed 14 distinct clusters. High variability was recorded for green forage yield, quantitative traits and nutritive quality parameters. A core subset of 50 accessions was identified, which captured most of the morphological and nutritional variability present in the total germplasm. Clustering of genotypes was observed to be related to the climatic conditions of the place of collection. High genetic variability observed for various morphological traits as well as forage yield indicated that these genotypes or subset of genotypes can be evaluated in different abiotic stress conditions such as salt, light and moisture stress for the identification of suitable varieties for the respective areas. Variability was attributed to inter-generic, inter-specific crossing together with the occasional presence of sexual plants in nature.
To assess benefits of surgical intervention at an early age and focus on surgical techniques using exclusively autologous cartilage grafts.
Five children aged 8–15 years, treated between March 2016 and 2020, underwent augmentation rhinoplasty using autologous cartilage, with post-operative follow up ranging from 1.5 to 2 years. Photographs and Rhinoplasty Outcome Evaluation questionnaire scores were examined.
Augmentation was achieved without complications. No restricted skin or mucosal pockets were encountered. Patients showed improved confidence and perspective with regard to self-image, and were less socially self-conscious. There was significant improvement in all Rhinoplasty Outcome Evaluation questionnaire scores.
Early surgery allows augmentation with easier release of skin and mucosal pockets, and without the tension otherwise encountered if primary augmentation is performed at a later age. It offers a chance to improve confidence and self-perception in a growing child conscious about their appearance, which may make them socially withdrawn. Autologous cartilage gives better results than bone grafts, and is comparable with silicone but without its complications.
Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus Jacq.) is an important forage species in vast rangelands/grasslands of India and several tropical countries owing to its high biomass yield, good nutritional quality and wide adaptation. Evaluation of the existing natural variation and selection of desirable genotypes is the most plausible breeding method for this apomictic and polyploid grass. Developing a core sub-set to narrow down the number of germplasm required for future genetic studies is also pertinent. The present study involved characterization of 152 diverse M. maximus germplasm representing collections from different agro-ecological zones of India as well as those procured from Africa and Brazil; and development of a core sub-set. Nineteen metric, seven non-metric and nine nutritive traits together established the presence of wide variability among the genotypes. Clustering of the genotypes resulted in eight distinct clusters. The largest cluster included genotypes from Ethiopia, north India, north-western India, south India and north-eastern hill region, thus represented the highest diversity. Eleven of the total 26 Ethiopian genotypes clustered together. Non-metric morphological traits effectively differentiated the genotypes, and were associated with nutritional quality also. Genotypes which flowered once in a year showed slightly better crude protein and digestibility. The clusters were further sub-clustered and representatives were selected to develop the core sub-set of 23 genotypes comprising 20 indigenous and three exotic accessions. Comparison of the range of diversity and mean value for traits as obtained in the core sub-set and that in the total germplasm indicated successful capturing of maximum diversity in the core sub-set.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
We study the effects of food safety awareness on consumers’ milk purchasing behavior in Nepal. We conducted consumer survey and employed an instrumental variable regression. We find education, income, and social network to influence food safety consciousness (FSC). Our results indicate the positive impact of FSC on weekly milk expenditure and probability of purchasing milk from milk cooperatives. Any policy that helps to improve the FSC levels will likely increase the purchase of safe milk from the modern market outlet, and lack of such awareness raising policies has prevented the market for safe food from evolving and expanding.
Weaning is known to induce important nutritional and energetic stress in piglets. Low-birthweight (LBW) piglets, now frequently observed in swine production, are more likely to be affected. The weaning period is also associated with dysfunctional immune responses, uncontrolled inflammation and oxidative stress conditions that are recognized risk factors for infections and diseases. Mounting evidence indicates that mitochondria, the main cellular sources of energy in the form of adenosine 5′ triphosphate (ATP) and primary sites of reactive oxygen species production, are related to immunity, inflammation and bacterial pathogenesis. However, no information is currently available regarding the link between mitochondrial energy production and oxidative stress in weaned piglets. The objective of this study was to characterize markers of cellular and mitochondrial energy metabolism and oxidative status in both normal-birthweight (NBW) and LBW piglets throughout the peri-weaning period. To conduct the study, 30 multiparous sows were inseminated and litters were standardized to 12 piglets. All the piglets were weighted at day 1 and 120 piglets were selected and assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups: NBW (n = 60, mean weight of 1.73 ± 0.01 kg) and LBW piglets weighing less than 1.2 kg (n = 60, 1.01 ± 0.01 kg). Then, 10 piglets from each group were selected at 14, 21 (weaning), 23, 25, 29 and 35 days of age to collect plasma and organ (liver, intestine and kidney) samples. Analysis revealed that ATP concentrations were lower in liver of piglets after weaning than during lactation (P < 0.05) thus suggesting a significant impact of weaning stress on mitochondrial energy production. Oxidative damage to DNA (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, 8-OHdG) and proteins (carbonyls) measured in plasma increased after weaning and this coincides with a rise in enzymatic antioxidant activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (P < 0.05). Mitochondrial activities of both GPx and SOD are also significantly higher (P < 0.05) in kidney of piglets after weaning. Additionally, oxidative damage to macromolecules is more important in LBW piglets as measured concentrations of 8-OHdG and protein carbonyls are significantly higher (P < 0.05) in plasma and liver samples, respectively, than for NBW piglets. These results provide novel information about the nature, intensity and duration of weaning stress by revealing that weaning induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular oxidative stress conditions which last for at least 2 weeks and more severely impact smaller piglets.
Trait-specific characterization of rice landraces has significant potential for germplasm management, varietal identification and mining of novel gene/allele for various traits. In the current study, we have characterized 98 unique rice landraces collected from coastal regions of India, affected by submergence and salinity, based on Sub1 and Saltol quantitative trait loci (QTL) linked microsatellite markers. Among these genotypes, four genotypes (IC536558, IC536559, IC536604 and IC536604-1) collected from Kerala and two genotypes (AC34902 and IC324589) collected from West Bengal were identified with tolerance to submergence and salinity stress. A high level of genetic diversity of He = 0.349 and 0.529 at Sub1 and Saltol QTL region was detected by QTL-linked microsatellite markers, respectively. At Sub1 region one genotype, AC34902, was detected with maximum allelic similarity with FR13A, a known submergence tolerant variety. Besides, five genotypes (IC211188-1, IC536604-1, IC536604, IC536558 and IC536559) showed comparatively close genetic relationship with the salt tolerant variety FL478 for Saltol QTL and were clustered together in the neighbour joining dendrogram. Considering the haplotype structure, five genotypes (IC203801, IC203778, IC324584, IC413608 and IC413638) were identified which did not contain any common allele similar to FR13A but were still tolerant to submergence. These individuals need further characterization for identification of new alleles responsible for their tolerance.
Poaching with snares has been identified as the main cause of decline of the endemic roan antelope Hippotragus equinuslangheldi in Ruma National Park, Kenya, from > 200 in 1979 to 37 in 2009. However, the spatial snaring patterns in the Park are not clearly understood. The focus of our study was to map the spatial distribution of snares in the Park and to identify the factors influencing this distribution, to develop effective methods of wildlife protection. Using data collected from 56 sample plots during 2006–2008, coupled with geographical information system techniques, we investigated the association between the occurrence of snares and the distribution of geographical features (slope, elevation), infrastructure (roads, fences), essential resources for wildlife (water, salt licks, forage), roan locations and wildlife density. Ripley's L function for assessing complete spatial randomness indicated that snares occurred in clumps (hotspots) up to 4 km apart. Negative binomial regression indicated that these hotspots occurred (1) near water resources, salt licks and the Park boundary, (2) far from roan locations and Park roads, (3) in areas with low gradients and low wildlife density, and (4) in areas with burned vegetation. We recommend concentrating routine security patrol efforts and resources on snare hotspots to reduce snaring and to protect the roan antelope and other threatened wildlife.
Nagaland is one of the eight states in the north-eastern region of India, where a considerable diversity exists in cultivated rice. Recent exploration in this tribal-dominated state has resulted in a collection of 130 rice accessions growing under diverse agroecological conditions. The agromorphological characterization data of 124 rice landraces revealed a significant variability in plant architecture and grain morphological and quality traits. Multivariate analyses including principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis were performed to assess the patterns of morphological variation. The PCA extracted 12 components, which explained 75.4% of the total variation for 38 quantitative and qualitative traits. The cluster analysis grouped 124 rice landraces into five clusters, and the number of landraces in each cluster ranged from 1 to 59. The correlations among the traits are discussed, which will be useful in considering traits for genetic improvement in grain yield and quality. The landraces have been conserved in the national genebank for further utilization.
The conflict between wild elephants and rural farmers is of great concern for wildlife management and rural development in most parts of Asia and Africa. In Sri Lanka, the conflict is at a very acute stage, as revealed by the fact that between 1992 and 2001 a total of 536 people were killed by wild elephants and that elephant mortality has reached a level of more than three elephant losses per week. Habitat destruction caused by illegal human encroachments and settlements, interruption of elephant corridors and scarcity of food and water in the national parks are some of the causes that have led to the increase of the human–elephant conflicts (HEC) in all wildlife regions in Sri Lanka. Rapid economic development in the dry zone of the country led to large-scale deforestation. In addition, the civil war further increased the conflict by forcing elephants to shift from forests and national parks in the north and east to the south and the west. As their habitats are increasingly lost, wild elephants often have no other choice than invading nearby farm fields causing damage to crops, trees, storage, houses and other properties, sometimes also resulting in the loss of human lives. In response, farm households are compelled to retaliate in various ways to protect their crops, including the killing of elephants. As stated by Heffernan (2005), the factors driving HECs are complex and case specific to environmental and social variables. The intensity of the HEC depends on elephant-related parameters such as aggressiveness to post-traumatic stress disorder or propensity to feed on field crops instead of the more difficult to find forest plants. Thus, HECs are created in the interaction between the forest environment and people’s actions such as encroachment and land claims.
Elephant are the largest terrestrial animal on earth and they require approximately 130–300 kg of feed and 100–200 l of water per day (WWF 2002). As their natural habitats become fragmented, elephants move from one forest patch to the other for food and water, travelling about 20–25 km per day. In Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, elephants are restricted to a few isolated and fragmented populations, a total number of approximately 35 000–50 000 elephants thus being affected by rapid population growth (Santiapillai and Jackson 1990, Sukumar 1989). In fact, 70% of elephant habitats in Asia were lost between 1960–2000 (Wickramasinghe and Santiapillai 2000).
A buffalo oocyte-specific subtracted cDNA library was constructed to identify exclusively or preferentially oocyte-expressed genes. The library represented an enriched population of transcripts obtained from oocytes of diverse ovarian follicular origin and at different stages of in vitro maturation. A total of 1173 high-quality sequences of oocyte-specific genes were clustered into 645 unique sequences, out of which 65.76% were represented as singlets and 34.26% as contig expressed sequence tags (ESTs; clusters). Analysis of sequences revealed that 498 of these sequences were identified as a known sequence in mammalian species including buffalo, 103 as uncharacterized ESTs and 44 unknown sequences including 1 novel EST, so far not reported in any species. Gene ontology annotation classified these sequences into functional categories of cellular events and biological processes associated with oocyte competence. Expression status of the isolated unknown ESTs confirmed that many of these are expressed in oocytes exclusively and in others preferentially, some in excess of 80-fold greater in comparison with a variety of somatic tissues. The isolated novel EST was detected to be expressed exclusively in oocytes and testicular cells only. To our knowledge, this is the first report giving a detailed transcriptome account of oocyte-expressed genes in buffalo. This study will provide important information on the physiological control of oocyte development, as well as many questions yet to be addressed on the reproductive process of buffalo.
We present here the latest results from experimental studies aiming at measuring the Mass
Absorption Coefficient (MAC) of interstellar silicate dust analogues at low temperatures
in the far infrared and submillimetre domains which are necessary for the analysis of
astronomical data. These results show that above 100 μm, the MAC of
amorphous silicate nano-grains has a complex dependence with the grain temperature and
with the wavelength. This has to be considered when interpreting astronomical observations
to avoid errors on the derived parameters such as the dust mass and its physical and
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.
Field trials were conducted in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate application of glyphosate alone or plus the plant growth regulator mepiquat chloride with 20 different insecticides to second-generation glyphosate-resistant cotton at the pinhead square or first bloom growth stages. At 7 DAT, averaged across cotton growth stages and herbicide treatments, combination with insecticides profenofos and methomyl resulted in 5 and 9% plant injury, respectively, and were the only insecticide combinations that resulted in injury greater than glyphosate or glyphosate plus mepiquat chloride applied alone. By 14 DAT, cotton injury was less than 2% for all treatments. Averaged across cotton growth stages and insecticides, addition of mepiquat chloride to glyphosate resulted in a 4 and 6 cm height reduction at 7 and 28 DAT, respectively. Seed cotton yield and percent first harvest were similar for all treatments, indicating that cotton injury and height reductions observed after application did not result in yield reductions or maturity delays. Glyphosate combined with insecticides and mepiquat chloride, in accordance with herbicide labeling for second-generation glyphosate-resistant cotton, offers producers the ability to integrate pest and crop management strategies and reduce application costs with minimal effect on the crop.