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Subcutaneous fat thickness and fatty acid composition (FAC) play an important role on seasoning loss and organoleptic characteristics of seasoned hams. Dry-cured ham industry prefers meats with low contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) because these negatively affect fat firmness and ham quality, whereas consumers require higher contents in those fatty acids (FA) for their positive effect on human health. A population of 950 Italian Large White pigs from the Italian National Sib Test Selection Programme was investigated with the aim to estimate heritabilities, genetic and phenotypic correlations of backfat FAC, Semimembranosus muscle intramuscular fat (IMF) content and other carcass traits. The pigs were reared in controlled environmental condition at the same central testing station and were slaughtered at reaching 150 kg live weight. Backfat samples were collected to analyze FAC by gas chromatography. Carcass traits showed heritability levels from 0.087 for estimated carcass lean percentage to 0.361 for hot carcass weight. Heritability values of FA classes were low-to-moderate, all in the range 0.245 for n-3 PUFA to 0.264 for monounsaturated FA (MUFA). Polyunsaturated fatty acids showed a significant genetic correlation with loin thickness (0.128), backfat thickness (−0.124 for backfat measured by Fat-O-Meat’er and −0.175 for backfat measured by calibre) and IMF (−0.102). Obviously, C18:2(n-6) shows similar genetic correlations with the same traits (0.211 with loin thickness, −0.206 with backfat measured by Fat-O-Meat’er, −0.291 with backfat measured by calibre and −0.171 with IMF). Monounsaturated FA, except with the backfat measured by calibre (0.068; P<0.01), do not show genetic correlations with carcass characteristics, whereas a negative genetic correlation was found between MUFA and saturated FA (SFA; −0.339; P<0.001). These results suggest that MUFA/SFA ratio could be increased without interfering with carcass traits. The level of genetic correlations between FA and carcass traits should be taken into account in dealing with the development of selection schemes addressed to modify carcass composition and/or backfat FAC.
Pre-slaughter transportation may affect poultry welfare and mortality rates. A retrospective analysis was conducted to examine the effect of environmental, management and individual factors on the percentage of dead birds during pre-slaughter transportation (dead-on-arrival, DOA). The variables accounted for in the analyses included: environmental temperature, travel duration, genetic line, gender, crate type and crate stocking density. Among the 41 452 loads of turkeys (34 696 388 birds) and 3241 of end of lay hens (21 788 124 birds) transported to three large abattoirs in northern Italy in a 3-year period, the median DOA was 0.14% in turkeys, and 0.38% in hens. In turkeys, travel duration longer than 30 min, temperature higher than 26°C and high in-crate densities were associated with increased DOA. In winter (⩽2°C), high stocking densities did not reduce the mortality risk from cold stress; on the contrary, for stocking densities either near to or just above the maximum density in EC Reg. 1/2005, the DOA risk was greater than for loads with densities of 10 kg/m2 less than the EC maximum. Male birds and specific genetic lines also showed a higher DOA. In hens, transportation lasting longer than 2 h and the brown-feathered breed were associated with higher DOA. Dead-on-arrival progressively increased with travel duration, remaining constant between 4 and 6 h and peaking at 8 h (median: 0.57%). The maximum DOA increase was detected during winter. These results show that several species-specific factors may lead to increased risk of mortality.
The “schizophrenia spectrum” concept allowed better identifying the psychopathology underpinning disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder (SZA) and cluster A personality disorders (PD).
To compare the clinical portrait of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, focusing on the impact of the affective dimension.
Inpatients at the acute psychiatric ward of Perugia (Umbria-Italy) were evaluated with the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II disorders and diagnosed with a “schizophrenia spectrum” disorder according to DSM-IV-TR. The clinical evaluation was conducted using the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). Pearson correlations of the different subscales in the three groups and between the negative scales with the affective symptom “depression” were conducted.
The sample consisted of 72 inpatients (schizophrenia 55.6%, SZA 20% and cluster A PD 19.4%). The negative and the general psychopathology scales directly correlated at different degrees in the three groups (schizophrenia: r = 0.750; P < 0.001; SZA: r = 0.625, P = 0.006; cluster A PD: r = 0.541, P = 0.046). The symptom “depression” directly correlated with 5 out of 7 negative symptoms: blunted affect (r = 0.616, P < 0.001), emotional withdrawal (r = 0.643, P < 0.001), poor rapport (r = 0.389, P = 0.001), passive/apathetic social withdrawal (r = 0.538, P < 0.001), lack of spontaneity & flow of conversation (r = 0.399, P = 0.001).
Our study confirmed the existence of the “schizophrenia spectrum” with combined different disorders lying on a continuum in which negative symptoms mainly correlated with the psychopathological functioning. Noteworthy, the symptoms of the negative scale strongly correlated with the “depression” symptom, underlying the impact of the affective symptoms on the severity of the “schizophrenia spectrum” disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
We identify a benchmark problem simple enough that it can be solved both by an eddy-viscosity model and by direct numerical simulation: this is the linear response of a turbulent flow’s mean-velocity profile to an external volume force. An example of such a force was found in a study of the perturbation induced by bottom topography by Luchini & Charru (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 656, 2010, pp. 337–341). On the other hand, a modification of the method by Quadrio & Luchini (Proceedings of the IX European Turbulence Conference, Southampton, UK, 2002, pp. 715–718) and Luchini et al. (Phys. Fluids, vol. 18, 2006, 121702) to compute the linear impulse response of a wall-bounded turbulent flow allows the response to a volume force to be computed directly. The comparison exhibits significant differences and suggests that there might be fundamental obstacles to designing an eddy-viscosity model that provides the correct result.
Actinomycosis is an infectious syndrome caused by anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria, primarily from the genus Actinomyces. It is most commonly caused by Actinomyces israelii. However, Actinomyces naeslundii, Actinomyces odontolyticus, Actinomyces viscosus, Actinomyces meyeri, and Actinomyces gerencseriae are less common causes of infection. Advances in microbiologic taxonomy, using genotypic methods such as comparative 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) or sequencing of alternative genes, have led to the identification of many new Actinomyces species from both human and animal specimens. Presently 46 species and 2 subspecies have been recognized (http://www.bacterio.cict.fr/a/actinomyces.html). Although the syndrome of actinomycosis can be caused by these more recently described agents, most of the infections are not “classic” actinomycosis. Infections due to Actinomyces neuii have been increasingly recognized. Nearly all of actinomycotic infections are polymicrobial in nature. Aggregatibacter (formerly Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium, Bacteroides, Capnocytophaga, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Enterobacteriaceae are commonly co-isolated (“companion organisms”) with the agents of actinomycosis in various combinations depending on the site of the infection.
Epidemiology and pathogenesis
The etiologic agents of actinomycosis are members of the normal oral flora and are often present in bronchi and the gastrointestinal and female genital tracts. Although males have a higher incidence of infection (perhaps due to more frequent trauma and poorer dental hygiene), actinomycosis occurs in all age groups and geographic locations. Disruption of the mucosal barrier is the critical step for the development of actinomycosis. Subsequently, local infection may ensue and once established, if untreated, spreads contiguously ignoring tissue planes in a slow, progressive manner. Although acute inflammation may initially occur at the site of infection, the hallmark of actinomycosis is the characteristic chronic, indolent phase. This stage is manifested by lesions that usually appear as single or multiple indurations. Central necrosis develops that consists of neutrophils and sulfur granules (a finding virtually diagnostic of this disease). The walls of the mass are fibrotic and characteristically described as “wooden.” Over time sinus tracts to the skin, adjacent organs, or bone may develop. Rarely distant hematogenous seeding occurs. Foreign bodies appear to facilitate infection. This occurs most frequently with intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs). Although actinomycosis has been described in the setting of various immunosuppressive therapies or states of host compromise, it remains unclear which arm(s) of host defense prevents/control infection. The contribution of the non-Actinomyces co-isolates or companion organisms to the pathogenesis of actinomycosis is also uncertain.
Although risk for psychosis in velocardiofacial (22q11.2 deletion) syndrome (VCFS) is well established, the cognitive and familial factors that moderate that risk are poorly understood.
A total of 75 youth with VCFS were assessed at three time points, at 3-year intervals. Time 1 (T1) psychiatric risk was assessed with the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). Data reduction of BASC scores yielded avoidance–anxiety and dysregulation factors. Time 2 (T2) neuropsychological and family function and time 3 (T3) prodromal/overt psychosis were assessed. Poisson regression models tested associations between T3 positive prodromal symptoms/overt psychosis and T1 psychiatric risk, T2 cognitive and familial factors, and their interactions.
T1 avoidance–anxiety ratings predicted T3 prodromal/overt psychosis. T2 verbal learning scores moderated this association, such that individuals with low avoidance–anxiety scores and stronger verbal learning skills were the least likely to demonstrate prodromal/overt psychosis at T3. Low scores on a T2 visual vigilance task also predicted T3 prodromal/overt psychosis, independently of the effect of T1 avoidance–anxiety scores. T1 dysregulation scores did not predict T3 prodromal/overt psychosis in a linear manner. Instead, the association between dysregulation and prodromal/overt psychosis was amplified by T2 levels of family organization, such that individuals with low dysregulation scores and low family organization scores were the most likely to exhibit T3 prodromal/overt psychosis.
Significant moderators of psychiatric risk in VCFS include verbal learning skills as well as levels of family organization, carrying implications for early identification and preventative treatment of youth with VCFS at highest risk for psychosis.
Familial aggregation of isolated abdominal aortic and isolated intracranial aneurysms have been described. Therefore, districtual aneurysm without a systemic genetic disease (e.g. Marfan, Ehlers Danlos etc.) can have a genetic basis. The authors are reporting on the development, in the sixth decade of life, of popliteal aneurysm in two identical twins E.U. and E.C. Zygosity was established on the basis of blood-group determinations, HLA haplotypes and cytogenetic variants. Mild clinical symptoms (intermittent claudication, calf cramps) had begun in E.C. at 21 years of age. Later, at 52 years of age, a thrombosis of the aneurysmatic sac on one side required surgical treatment. E.U. showed no clinical symptoms until the age of 60, when, within the interval of a few months, bilateral thrombosis had developed. The weight difference in the two subjects (E.C. 72 Kg, E.U. 64 Kg) may explain the difference between them as regards the age of onset of symptoms and body sides (one or both) affected. Angiographic, macroscopic and histologic aspects are documented. On surgical intervention, the aneursym was found at the biforcation of the popliteal artery, but no anomalous insertion of gas-trocnemii appeared to cause pressure on the artery leading to aneurysmatic dilatation. The aneurysmatic sac measured 2.5 cm in diameter and on histological examination, using haematoxylin-eosin and Van Gieson stain, showed fragmented elastic, collagen fibres.
Graded Al-doped ZnO layers, constituted by a mesoporous forest-like system evolving into a compact transparent conductor, were synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition with different morphologies to study the correlation with functional properties. Morphology was monitored by Scanning Electron Microscopy images and by measuring the resulting surface roughness. Its effects on electrical conductivity – especially carrier mobility, which significantly decreases with increasing roughness – allow to discuss the limitations in conduction mechanisms. Significant changes in light scattering capability due to variations in morphology are also investigated and discussed to study the correlation between morphology and functional properties.
Although DSM-IV attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is known to be associated with numerous adverse outcomes, uncertainties exist about how much these associations are mediated temporally by secondary co-morbid disorders.
The US National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a national survey of adolescents aged 13–17 years (n = 6483 adolescent–parent pairs), assessed DSM-IV disorders with the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Statistical decomposition was used to compare direct effects of ADHD with indirect effects of ADHD through temporally secondary mental disorders (anxiety, mood, disruptive behavior, substance disorders) in predicting poor educational performance (suspension, repeating a grade, below-average grades), suicidality (ideation, plans, attempts) and parent perceptions of adolescent functioning (physical and mental health, interference with role functioning and distress due to emotional problems).
ADHD had significant gross associations with all outcomes. Direct effects of ADHD explained most (51.9–67.6%) of these associations with repeating a grade in school, perceived physical and mental health (only girls), interference with role functioning and distress, and significant components (34.5–44.6%) of the associations with school suspension and perceived mental health (only boys). Indirect effects of ADHD on educational outcomes were predominantly through disruptive behavior disorders (26.9–52.5%) whereas indirect effects on suicidality were predominantly through mood disorders (42.8–59.1%). Indirect effects on most other outcomes were through both mood (19.8–31.2%) and disruptive behavior (20.1–24.5%) disorders, with anxiety and substance disorders less consistently important. Most associations were comparable for girls and boys.
Interventions aimed at reducing the adverse effects of ADHD might profitably target prevention or treatment of temporally secondary co-morbid disorders.
The synthesis of hierarchically assembled Al-doped ZnO layers by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) at room temperature was investigated. PLD was performed in a background pressure of 100 Pa O2 to deposit clusters in a low energy regime and obtain nano- and mesostructures resulting from a hierarchical assembly of nanoclusters. We here analyzed the effects of varying the gas flow rate on mesoscale morphology, mass density and optical properties. The variation of the target-to-substrate distance was also investigated, identifying its effects on mass density and film morphology. The optimization of optical properties in terms of transparency and light scattering capability is of potential interest for photovoltaic applications.
Dietary assessment is strongly affected by misreporting (both under- and over-reporting), which results in measurement error. Knowledge about misreporting is essential to correctly interpret potentially biased associations between diet and health outcomes. In young children, dietary data mainly rely on proxy respondents but little is known about determinants of misreporting here. The present analysis was conducted within the framework of the multi-centre IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants) study and is based on 6101 children aged 2–9 years with 24 h dietary recall (24-HDR) and complete covariate information. Adapted Goldberg cut-offs were applied to classify the 24-HDR as ‘over-report’, ‘plausible report’ or ‘under-report’. Backward elimination in the course of multi-level logistic regression analyses was conducted to identify factors significantly related to under- and over-reporting. Next to characteristics of the children and parents, social factors and parental concerns/perceptions concerning their child's weight status were considered. Further selective misreporting was addressed, investigating food group intakes commonly perceived as more or less socially desirable. Proportions of under-, plausible and over-reports were 8·0, 88·6 and 3·4 %, respectively. The risk of under-reporting increased with age (OR 1·19, 95 % CI 1·05, 1·83), BMI z-score of the child (OR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·10, 1·37) and household size (OR 1·12, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·25), and was higher in low/medium income groups (OR 1·45, 95 % CI 1·13, 1·86). Over-reporting was negatively associated with BMI z-scores of the child (OR 0·78, 95 % CI 0·69, 0·88) and higher in girls (OR 1·70, 95 % CI 1·27, 2·28). Further social desirability and parental concerns/perceptions seemed to influence the reporting behaviour. Future studies should involve these determinants of misreporting when investigating diet–disease relationships in children to correct for the differential reporting bias.
The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1) gene encodes the prohormone convertase 1/3 enzyme that processes prohormones into functional hormones that, in turn, regulate central and peripheral energy metabolism. Mutations in the human PCSK1 gene cause severe monogenic obesity or confer risk of obesity. We herein investigated the porcine PCSK1 gene with the aim of identifying polymorphisms associated with fat deposition and production traits in Italian heavy pigs. By re-sequencing about 5.1 kb of this gene in 21 pigs of different breeds, we discovered 14 polymorphisms that were organized in nine haplotypes, clearly distributed in two clades of putative European and Asian origin. Then we re-mapped this gene on porcine chromosome 2 and analysed its expression in several tissues including gastric oxyntic mucosa of weanling pigs in which PCSK1 processes the pre-pro-ghrelin into ghrelin, which in turn is involved in the control of feed intake and energy metabolism. Association analyses between PCSK1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and production, carcass and several other traits were conducted on five groups of pigs from three different experimental designs, for a total of 1221 animals. Results indicated that the analysed SNPs were associated (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05) with several traits including backfat thickness and visible intermuscular fat in Italian Duroc (ID) and growth performances in Italian Large White (ILW) and in ILW × Italian Landrace pigs. However, the effects estimated in the ILW were opposite to the effects reported in the ID pigs. Suggestive association (P < 0.10) was observed with muscle cathepsin B activity, opening, if confirmed, potential applications to reduce the excessive softness defect of the green hams that is of particular concern for the processing industry. The results obtained supported the need to further investigate the PCSK1 gene to fully exploit the value of its variability and apply this information in pig breeding programmes.
A reliable evaluation of crop nutritional status is crucial for supporting fertilization aiming at maximizing qualitative and quantitative aspects of production and reducing the environmental impact of cropping systems. Most of the available simulation models evaluate crop nutritional status according to the nitrogen (N) dilution law, which derives critical N concentration as a function of above-ground biomass. An alternative approach, developed during a project carried out with students of the Cropping Systems Masters course at the University of Milan, was tested and compared with existing models (N dilution law and approaches implemented in EPIC and DAISY models). The new model (MAZINGA) reproduces the effect of leaf self-shading in lowering plant N concentration (PNC) through an inverse of the fraction of radiation intercepted by the canopy. The models were tested using data collected in four rice (Oryza sativa L.) experiments carried out in Northern Italy under potential and N-limited conditions. MAZINGA was the most accurate in identifying the critical N concentration, and therefore in discriminating PNC of plants growing under N-limited and non-limited conditions, respectively. In addition, the present work proved the effectiveness of crop models when used as tools for supporting education.
Silicon nanostructures embedded in an amorphous matrix have been synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) at room temperature. The structural and optical properties of the materials were tailored by varying deposition parameters; attention has been devoted to the nanoscale morphology of the Si layers which has been varied from compact to open-porous by changing background gas (Ar) pressure (1-100 Pa). An adopted simple-minded strategy of a compact Si layer deposited on top of nanostructured layers showed to reduce quite successfully ex-situ oxidation. Raman spectroscopy suggests that as deposited samples are mainly constituted by amorphous silicon with nanocrystals (NCs) inclusions. The results indicate that the average size of the Si NCs varies in the range 2-6 nm. Photoluminescence (PL) responses are found to be strictly dependent on morphology and strengthen up the idea of the quantum confinement effect in the obtained nanostructured material. The results are interpreted in terms of particle size distribution, crystallinity and partial surface oxidation of the silicon nanostructures.
We present a study on the liquid/solid interface, which can be electrostatically doped to a high carrier density (n~1014 cm-2) by electric-double-layer gating. Using micro-cleavage technique on the layered materials: ZrNCl and graphene, atomically flat channel surfaces can be easily prepared. Intrinsic high carrier density transport regime is accessed at the channel interface of electric double-layer field effect transistor, where novel transport properties are unveiled as the field-induced superconductivity on the ZrNCl with high transition temperature at 15 K, and accessing a high carrier density up to 2×1014 cm-2 in graphene and its multi-layers.
This article presents the work carried out to define quality criteria of a new scrap
source for the steel industry: steel wires generated by grinding end-of-life tires. The
definition of this promising new secondary raw material source is perfectly in agreement
with the European Directives 75/442/CEE and 2000/53/EC, dealing with waste and recycling
of end-of-life vehicles, thus answering the environmental needs of our society.
tires generates an interesting secondary raw material (rubber granulates) but also two
wastes, steel wires and textile fibers. We estimate that steel wires represent in Europe
180 kt of steel every year which is not, or badly, valorized. This study showed that the
recycling of these steel wires in steel mills was possible and viable, one necessary
condition being the determination of the non-metallic content remaining on the wires and
keeping it lower than 4%.
This work presents the design, manufacturing, and testing of three 5-bit K-band Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) phase shifters based on similar architectures (combination of switched line and loaded line) but employing different MEMS switch typologies (cantilevers and air bridges) and RF junctions (SP2T and SP4T). All devices have been monolithically manufactured on 200 µm thick high resistivity silicon substrate (4″) by using the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) RF MEMS process. The performance of the different devices has been compared in order to identify the best configuration to be implemented in electronically steerable phased array antennas for satellite COTM (communication on the move) terminals. Excellent performances were measured for the dielectric-free pad RF MEMS switches as well as the single bits constituting the phase shifter. The three 5-bit devices show return losses better than 15 dB for all states, with average insertion loss of 3.5 dB for the clamped–clamped, SP2T-based design, 2.2 dB for the cantilever, SP2T-based device and 2.1 dB for the cantilever, SP4 T-based design. A low-cost Surface Mountable Technology (SMT) one-level package has been developed as well to allow the phase shifter integration into phased array antennas by using automatic surface mounting techniques. The design and simulation of the SMT package are also presented together with its measured RF performance.