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It is known that the level of dietary protein modulates the enzymatic activity of the digestive tract of fish; however, its effect at the molecular level on these enzymes and the hormones regulating appetite has not been well characterised. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of CP on the activity of proteases and the expression of genes related to the ingestion and protein digestion of juveniles of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), as well as the effects on performance, protein retention and body composition of tilapia. A total of 240 juveniles (29.32 ± 5.19 g) were used, distributed across 20 tanks of 100 l in a closed recirculation system. The fish were fed to apparent satiety for 42 days using four isoenergetic diets with different CP levels (24%, 30%, 36% and 42%). The results indicate that fish fed the 30% CP diet exhibited a higher growth performance compared to those on the 42% CP diet (P < 0.05). Feed intake in fish fed 24% and 30% CP diets was significantly higher than that in fish fed 36% and 42% CP diets (P < 0.05). A significant elevation of protein retention was observed in fish fed with 24% and 30% CP diets. Fish fed with 24% CP exhibited a significant increase in lipid deposition in the whole body. The diet with 42% CP was associated with the highest expression of pepsinogen and the lowest activity of acid protease (P < 0.05). The expression of hepatopancreatic trypsinogen increased as CP levels in the diet increased (P < 0.05) up to 36%, whereas trypsin activity showed a significant reduction with 42% CP (P < 0.05). The diet with 42% CP was associated with the lowest intestinal chymotrypsinogen expression and the lowest chymotrypsin activity (P < 0.05). α-amylase expression decreased with increasing (P < 0.05) CP levels up to 36%. No significant differences were observed in the expression of procarboxypeptidase, lipase or leptin among all the groups (P > 0.05). In addition, the diet with 42% CP resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in the expression of ghrelin and insulin and an increase (P < 0.05) in the expression of cholecystokinin and peptide yy. It is concluded that variation in dietary protein promoted changes in the metabolism of the red tilapia, which was reflected in proteolytic activity and expression of digestion and appetite-regulating genes.
Although the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) is the most cultivated native fish species in Brazil, estimated breeding values for growth traits are rarely used for selection of superior individuals in commercial fingerling production. This study aimed to estimate the (co)variance components of growth traits. Body weight, length and width of 2500 tambaqui were determined at tagging and at 6 and 12 months after tagging in a commercial breeding programme in Brazil. Heritability estimates were low for traits measured at tagging (0.10 to 0.19) and moderate to high for traits measured at 6 and 12 months (0.23 to 0.81). Common full-sib effects were high at tagging (>73%), low at 6 months and negligible at 12 months. Positive genetic correlations were found among growth traits at 12 months (0.84 to 0.99) and between growth traits at 6 and 12 months (0.80 to 0.92). These results show that animal selection can be performed at 6 months after tagging. Expected genetic gains for growth traits ranged from 8% to 31%. A simulation of the sex ratio was performed, as individuals did not reach sexual maturity during the experimental period. Because of the sexual dimorphism, more accurate heritability estimates were obtained when considering the female proportion to be 90% in the high-weight group. The findings indicate that it is possible to obtain considerable genetic gains in growth by selecting for growth traits. The development of a tool to determine the sex of animals at early stages can improve the response to selection in tambaqui.
To estimate the nutritional requirements of hair sheep, knowledge about the animal’s weight and its relationships with growth performances is essential. A study was carried with the objective to establish the relationships between BW, fasting BW (FBW), empty BW (EBW), average daily gain (ADG) and empty BW gain (EBWG) for hair sheep in growing and finishing phases in Brazilian conditions. Databases were obtained from 32 studies, for a total of 1145 observations; there were 3 sex classes (non-castrated male, castrated male and female) and 2 feeding systems (pasture and feedlot). The most representative breeds in the database were Santa Ines (n = 473), Morada Nova (n = 70) and Brazilian Somali (n = 47). The other animals in the database were crossbreeds (n = 555). The FBW (kg), EBW and EBWG (kg/day) were estimated according to linear regression. A random coefficient model was adopted, considering the study as a random effect and including the possibility of covariance between the slope and the intercept. The coefficients obtained from the linear regression of the FBW against the BW, EBW against the FBW and EBWG against the ADG did not differ between sex class (P > 0.05) and genotype (P > 0.05). The equations generated to estimate FBW from the BW, EBW from the FBW and EBWG from the ADG are as follows: FBW = −0.5470 (±0.2025) + 0.9313(±0.019) × BW, EBW = −1.4944 (±0.3639) + 0.8816 (±0.018) × FBW and EBWG = 0.906 (±0.019) × ADG, respectively. The low mean squared error values found in the cross-validation confirmed the reliability of these equations. Considering a sheep with a BW of 30 kg and a 100 g ADG, the estimated FBW, EBW and EBWG calculated using the generated equations are 27, 22.65 and 0.090 kg, respectively. In conclusion, the generated equations can be used in growing hair sheep. The validation procedure applied to the generated equations showed that its use for hair sheep seems to be appropriate.
The current study evaluated the effects of dietary roughage:concentrate (R:C) ratios and water supply on the carcass characteristics and yield of lambs. Forty Santa Inês crossbred lambs with an average body weight (BW) of 19 ± 2.8 kg were evaluated in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement consisting of two proportions of roughage and concentrate (30:70 and 70:30) and two levels of water supply (ad libitum and restricted to 0.5). The animals were slaughtered at an average weight of 28 ± 31 kg. Centesimal composition, colour parameters (L*, a* and b*), shear force, cooking losses and pH were determined on the Longissimus lumborum muscle. There was no interaction effect between the R:C ratio and water supply on the evaluated variables. Total BW gain, average daily gain and final BW were affected by water restriction and R:C ratio. Water restriction reduced total BW gain, average daily gain and final BW. No effect of water restriction was detected on slaughter weight, centesimal composition, colour variations, shear force, pH, weight or yield of carcass. No effect of water restriction and diets was observed on the cuts, except for neck weight. Carcass weight and yield were affected by the R:C ratios. Restricting the water supply to 0.5 does not affect the carcass weight or yield of Santa Inês crossbred lambs or their meat quality characteristics (centesimal composition, colour, shear force and pH measurements). A higher proportion of concentrate in the diet results in heavier hot and cold carcass weights.
The terminal phase of cancer represents a major crisis for the family system. Regardless of the caregiving role they undertake, family members are forced to address multiple impacts when facing the approaching death of their terminally ill loved one. International guidelines recognize the importance of integrating the family into a care plan. However, more needs to be known about how to deliver optimal family support. The purpose of this study is to review the current state of the art in family/caregiver-focused interventions of people with terminal cancer in palliative care.
For this purpose, an overview of the literature's systematic reviews on the topic was conducted to select Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) on family/caregiver-focused interventions.
Nine interventions were found in the systematic reviews of literature and meta-analysis. These family/caregiver-focused interventions were then thoroughly and critically analyzed. Despite the heterogeneity with regard to their characteristics, the interventions commonly focused on caregiving matters, were brief in duration, and delivered by non-mental health experts. The efficacy of such interventions was seen as modest.
Significance of results
Family/caregiver-focused interventions in palliative care remain a matter of concern and more research is needed to identify adequate and effective ways of helping families that face the crisis of terminal illness in the system.
Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
Mental disorders can have a major impact on brain development. Peripheral blood concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are lower in adult psychiatric disorders. Serum BDNF concentrations and BDNF genotype have been associated with cortical maturation in children and adolescents. In 2 large independent samples, this study tests associations between serum BDNF concentrations, brain structure, and psychopathology, and the effects of BDNF genotype on BDNF serum concentrations in late childhood and early adolescence.
Children and adolescents (7-14 years old) from 2 cities (n = 267 in Porto Alegre; n = 273 in São Paulo) were evaluated as part of the Brazilian high-risk cohort (HRC) study. Serum BDNF concentrations were quantified by sandwich ELISA. Genotyping was conducted from blood or saliva samples using the SNParray Infinium HumanCore Array BeadChip. Subcortical volumes and cortical thickness were quantified using FreeSurfer. The Development and Well-Being Behavior Assessment was used to identify the presence of a psychiatric disorder.
Serum BDNF concentrations were not associated with subcortical volumes or with cortical thickness. Serum BDNF concentration did not differ between participants with and without mental disorders, or between Val homozygotes and Met carriers.
No evidence was found to support serum BDNF concentrations as a useful marker of developmental differences in brain and behavior in early life. Negative findings were replicated in 2 of the largest independent samples investigated to date.
Birthweight (BW) has been associated with anthropometry, body composition and physical fitness during growth and development of children. However, less is known about the mediation effect of those variables on the relationship between BW and basal metabolic rate (BMR) in children.
To analyse the mediation effect of anthropometry, body composition and physical fitness on the association between BW and BMR in children.
In total, 499 children (254 boys, 245 girls) aged 7–10 years were included. Anthropometry (weight, height, head, waist and hip circumferences), body composition (skinfolds thickness, body fat percentage), physical fitness (handgrip strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular explosive power, agility, running speed) and BMR were evaluated. The analyses were conducted by: single-mediator analysis (SMA) and multi-mediator analysis (MMA).
The SMA indicates height, head, waist and hip circumferences and handgrip strength as significant mediators of BW on BMR for boys and height, hip circumference and handgrip strength as significant mediators of BW on BMR for girls. In MMA for girls, there were significant indirect effects for height, hip circumference and handgrip strength, with 79.08% of percent mediation. For boys, the head and waist circumferences mediation had a significant indirect effect, with 83.37% of percent mediation.
The anthropometric variables associated with BW were body height, head, hip and waist circumferences for boys and body height and hip circumference for girls. The current study provides new evidence that height and handgrip strength during childhood mediated the relationship between BW and BMR.
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
Femoral vein access is the first choice for percutaneous atrial septal defect closure, and when it cannot be used due to anatomic reasons, the alternative sites should be considered, frequently increasing the complexity of the procedure. Here we report the case of a 3-year-old boy, with situs inversus and dextrocardia, electively referred for percutaneous closure of an ostium secundum atrial septal defect. During the procedure, agenesis of the infra-hepatic segment of the inferior caval vein was diagnosed, and no double inferior caval vein or right superior caval vein were identified by ultrasound or angiography. Therefore, we opted to perform the procedure through the left internal jugular vein, with fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiographic guidance. Catheters were navigated through a hydrophilic guidewire, and a Stiff guidewire was positioned in the left ventricle for better support. An Amplatzer septa occluder 19 was successfully deployed without major difficulties and the patient was discharged after 24 hours in good clinical condition. Percutaneous atrial septal defect closure through alternative access sites, especially in the presence of situs inversus, may pose significant challenges to the interventional team. In this case, the left internal jugular vein has shown to be a feasible option, allowing the navigation and manipulation of devices without complications. Provided the expertise of the interventional team, and awareness of the risks involved, alternative access sites can be successfully used for paediatric structural interventions.
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.
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.
The VISCACHA (VIsible Soar photometry of star Clusters in tApii and Coxi HuguA†) Survey is an ongoing project based on deep and spatially resolved photometric observations of Magellanic Cloud star clusters, collected using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope together with the SOAR Adaptive Module Imager. So far we have used >300h of telescope time to observe ∼150 star clusters, mostly with low mass (M < 104M⊙) on the outskirts of the LMC and SMC. With this high-quality data set, we homogeneously determine physical properties using deep colour-magnitude diagrams (ages, metallicities, reddening, distances, mass, luminosity and mass functions) and structural parameters (radial density profiles, sizes) for these clusters which are used as a proxy to investigate the interplay between the Magellanic Clouds and their evolution. We present the VISCACHA survey and its initial results, based on our first two papers. The project’s long term goals and expected legacy to the community are also addressed.
Perinatal maternal high-fat diet (HFD) increases susceptibility to obesity and fatty liver diseases in adult offspring, which can be attenuated by the potent hypolipidaemic action of fish oil (FO), an n-3 PUFA source, during adult life. Previously, we described that adolescent HFD offspring showed resistance to FO hypolipidaemic effects, although FO promoted hepatic molecular changes suggestive of reduced lipid accumulation. Here, we investigated whether this FO intervention only during the adolescence period could affect offspring metabolism in adulthood. Then, female Wistar rats received isoenergetic, standard (STD: 9 % fat) or high-fat (HFD: 28·6 % fat) diet before mating, and throughout pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, male offspring received the standard diet; and from 25 to 45 d old they received oral administration of soyabean oil or FO. At 150 d old, serum and hepatic metabolic parameters were evaluated. Maternal HFD adult offspring showed increased body weight, visceral adiposity, hyperleptinaemia and decreased hepatic pSTAT3/STAT3 ratio, suggestive of hepatic leptin resistance. FO intake only during the adolescence period reduced visceral adiposity and serum leptin, regardless of maternal diet. Maternal HFD promoted dyslipidaemia and hepatic TAG accumulation, which was correlated with reduced hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1a content, suggesting lipid oxidation impairment. FO intake did not change serum lipids; however, it restored hepatic TAG content and hepatic markers of lipid oxidation to STD offspring levels. Therefore, we concluded that FO intake exclusively during adolescence programmed STD offspring and reprogrammed HFD offspring male rats to a healthier metabolic phenotype in adult life, reducing visceral adiposity, serum leptin and hepatic TAG content in offspring adulthood.
For more than four decades after the introduction of cv. Italia (Vitis vinifera L.) in Brazil, several somatic mutations in the genome of cv. Italia and its somatic mutants gave rise to phenotypes which generated at least five new cultivars of fine table grapes. Since no molecular marker proved to be effective in discriminating cv. Italia (V. vinifera L.) and its coloured mutants (Rubi, Benitaka, Brasil, Black Star), primers for the long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences were developed to analyse Inter Retrotransposon Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) and Retrotransposon-Microsatellite Amplified Polymorphism (REMAP), and investigate how the coloured cultivars derived from clonal propagations of somatic mutations are genetically structured. Primers for LTR sequences of IRAP and REMAP markers were edited from grape sequence databases available at a GenBank. Twenty-four primers, denominated DKS001–DKS024, were edited. Three hundred and forty-nine DNA segments were amplified by individual DKS primers and DKS/ISSR (Inter Simple Sequence Repeats) primer combinations, at an average of 13.96 amplicons per primer pair. High genetic divergence between the five cultivars was inferred from polymorphism in retrotransposons IRAP and REMAP. The analysis of polymorphism of IRAP and REMAP retrotransposons was crucial to show that clonal propagation of somatic mutations may lead towards the formation of genetically divergent cultivars by the formation of genetically structured vineyards and show the mixture of genomes within each cultivar.
Aircraft refuelling is a major cause of flight delays because it is a slow process. Further, if it does not begin as soon as the aircraft is available for ground handlers, there is an increasing risk of it being terminated after the final passenger has boarded. Usually, the process only begins after information regarding the required quantity of fuel is passed through the flight dispatcher, and this information typically requires a certain time to reach the ground handlers. Therefore, it is intended to test a new scenario: to begin refuelling with a minimum level and, if necessary, fill up the remainder with the final fuel figures when received. The aim of this paper is to analyse the application of Six Sigma in this process through Student’s t-test and statistical process control. The collected data in this case study include the amount of fuel supplied and flight delays (which are mainly caused by refuelling). The results demonstrate that the new process is favourable, and that the average length of flight delays is reduced from 14 to 6 min, which is an improvement of 57%. It is concluded that the application of Six Sigma in the aircraft refuelling process saves time and improves on-time performance levels, which is relevant to the scientific literature, thereby aiding in mitigating the risk of fines and penalties.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
The effects of growing pinto peanut mixed with elephant grass-based pastures are still little known. The aim of the current research was to evaluate the performance of herbage yield, nutritive value of forage and animal responses to levels of pinto peanut forage mass mixed with elephant grass in low-input systems. Three grazing systems were evaluated: (i) elephant grass-based (control); (ii) pinto peanut, low-density forage yield (63 g/kg of dry matter – DM) + elephant grass; and (iii) pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield (206 g/kg DM) + elephant grass. The experimental design was completely randomized with the three treatments (grazing systems) and three replicates (paddocks) in split-plot grazing cycles. Forage samples were collected to evaluate the pasture and animal responses. Leaf blades of elephant grass and the other companion grasses of pinto peanut were collected to analyse the crude protein, in vitro digestible organic matter and total digestible nutrients. The pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield + elephant grass treatment was found to give the best results in terms of herbage yield, forage intake and stocking rate, as well as having higher crude protein contents for both elephant grass and the other grasses, followed by pinto peanut with low-density forage yield + elephant grass and finally elephant grass alone. Better results were found with the grass–legume system for pasture and animal responses.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.