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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.
A zirconolite glass-ceramic material is a candidate wasteform for immobilisation of chlorine contaminated plutonium residues, in which plutonium and chlorine are partitioned to the zirconolite and aluminosilicate glass phase, respectively. A preliminary investigation of chlorine speciation was undertaken by analysis of Cl K-edge X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES), to understand the incorporation mechanism. Cl was found to be speciated as the Cl- anion within the glass phase, according to the characteristic chemical shift of the X-ray absorption edge. By comparison with Cl K-edge XANES data acquired from reference compounds, the local environment of the Cl- anion is most closely approximated by the mineral marialite, in which Cl is co-ordinate to 4 x Na and/or Ca atoms.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex and progressive condition that is either idiopathic or heritable, or associated with one or multiple health conditions, with or without congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease. Recent developments have tremendously increased the armamentarium of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in children and young adults with pulmonary hypertension that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. These modalities include non-invasive imaging, pharmacotherapy, interventional and surgical procedures, and supportive measures. The optimal, tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for pulmonary hypertension in the young are rapidly evolving but still face enormous challenges: Healthcare providers need to take the patient’s age, development, disease state, and family concerns into account when initiating advanced diagnostics and treatment. Therefore, there is a need for guidance on core and advanced medical training in paediatric pulmonary hypertension. The Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology working group “pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and transplantation” has produced this document as an expert consensus statement; however, all recommendations must be considered and applied in the context of the local and national infrastructure and legal regulations.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
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.
Feed represents a substantial proportion of production costs in the dairy industry and is a useful target for improving overall system efficiency and sustainability. The objective of this study was to develop methodology to estimate the economic value for a feed efficiency trait and the associated methane production relevant to Canada. The approach quantifies the level of economic savings achieved by selecting animals that convert consumed feed into product while minimizing the feed energy used for inefficient metabolism, maintenance and digestion. We define a selection criterion trait called Feed Performance (FP) as a 1 kg increase in more efficiently used feed in a first parity lactating cow. The impact of a change in this trait on the total lifetime value of more efficiently used feed via correlated selection responses in other life stages is then quantified. The resulting improved conversion of feed was also applied to determine the resulting reduction in output of emissions (and their relative value based on a national emissions value) under an assumption of constant methane yield, where methane yield is defined as kg methane/kg dry matter intake (DMI). Overall, increasing the FP estimated breeding value by one unit (i.e. 1 kg of more efficiently converted DMI during the cow’s first lactation) translates to a total lifetime saving of 3.23 kg in DMI and 0.055 kg in methane with the economic values of CAD $0.82 and CAD $0.07, respectively. Therefore, the estimated total economic value for FP is CAD $0.89/unit. The proposed model is robust and could also be applied to determine the economic value for feed efficiency traits within a selection index in other production systems and countries.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
The use of additives such as ractopamine (Rac) in pregnant sows during early-mid pregnancy is an alternative to increase foetal and progeny growth and development. However, Rac supplementation in finishing pigs can lead to behavioural and physiological changes similar to the typical stress responses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with Rac in pregnant sows from day 25 to 50 of gestation (pre-hyperplastic stage) on piglet’s vitality, blood parameters, number, diameter and perimeter of muscle fibres in semitendinosus muscle and developmental characteristics of piglets at birth to weaning. Forty-one hybrid sows were divided into three dietary treatments: (1) control diet without Rac (control), (2) addition of 10 mg/kg of Rac (Rac10) and (3) addition of 20 mg/kg of Rac (Rac20). Higher numbers of low-vitality piglets (P<0.05) were observed in Rac-fed sows, regardless of dose, compared with the control group. Very low-density lipoprotein levels were lower in the Rac10 group when compared with the Rac20 group at day 21. Haematocrit was greater, and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration was lower in piglets from Rac-fed sows. No significant statistical differences were detected regarding piglets body weight, average daily gain, blood gasometry, complete blood count and muscle fibre measurements in semitendinosus muscle. The use of Rac in pregnant sows reduced the vitality parameters of piglets but did not improve the performance from birth until weaning and did not negatively influence the haematological parameter and lipid metabolism.
Introduction: September 2017 saw the launch of the British Columbia (BC) Emergency Medicine Network (EM Network), an innovative clinical network established to improve emergency care across the province. The intent of the EM Network is to support the delivery of evidence-informed, patient-centered care in all 108 Emergency Departments and Diagnostic & Treatment Centres in BC. After one year, the Network undertook a formative evaluation to guide its growth. Our objective is to describe the evaluation approach and early findings. Methods: The EM Network was evaluated on three levels: member demographics, online engagement and member perceptions of value and progress. For member demographics and online engagement, data were captured from member registration information on the Network's website, Google Analytics and Twitter Analytics. Membership feedback was sought through an online survey using a social network analysis tool, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships), and semi-structured individual interviews. This framework was developed based on literature recommendations in collaboration with Network members, including patient representatives. Results: There are currently 622 EM Network members from an eligible denominator of approximately 1400 physicians (44%). Seventy-three percent of the Emergency Departments and Diagnostic and Treatment Centres in BC currently have Network members, and since launch, the EM Network website has been accessed by 11,154 unique IP addresses. Online discussion forum use is low but growing, and Twitter following is high. There are currently 550 Twitter followers and an average of 27 ‘mentions’ of the Network by Twitter users per month. Member feedback through the survey and individual interviews indicates that the Network is respected and credible, but many remain unaware of its purpose and offerings. Conclusion: Our findings underscore that early evaluation is useful to identify development needs, and for the Network this includes increasing awareness and online dialogue. However, our results must be interpreted cautiously in such a young Network, and thus, we intend to re-evaluate regularly. Specific action recommendations from this baseline evaluation include: increasing face-to-face visits of targeted communities; maintaining or accelerating communication strategies to increase engagement; and providing new techniques that encourage member contributions in order to grow and improve content.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
It can be hypothesized that the body composition characteristics of different sheep breeds affect their nutritional requirements. However, no study has yet been carried out to determine the nutritional requirements for maintenance of Texel purebred lambs, despite their growing importance in sheep meat production globally. Our objective was therefore to determine the energy and protein requirements for maintenance of Texel lambs. Thirty-four Texel lambs were used, all intact males that were weaned at 50 days old, and confined in individual pens. Two experiments were conducted, as follows. In Experiment 1, a digestibility assay was performed to determine the dietary energy value, in a 3×3 double Latin square design, in which lambs were submitted to three levels of feed restriction (0%, 55% and 70% of ad libitum feed intake). In Experiment 2, the energy and protein requirements for maintenance of Texel lambs from 21 to 40 kg BW were determined using a randomized block design, in which lambs were also submitted to three levels of feed restriction (0%, 55% and 70% of ad libitum feed intake). The requirements for net energy for maintenance (NEm), metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm), net protein for maintenance (NPm) and metabolizable protein for maintenance (MPm) were determined. The digestibility of dry matter, energy, protein and metabolizability were similar between food restriction levels, averaging 74.4%, 75.5%, 80.3% and 0.636, respectively. The NEm determined for growing Texel lambs was 263 kJ/kg of the metabolic fasting BW (FBW), the MEm was 417 kJ/kg0.75 FBW and the efficiency of use of MEm was 0.63. In addition, the NPm was 1.24 g/day per kg0.75 FBW and the MPm was 2.98 g/day per kg0.75 FBW. The energy requirements of Texel lambs are different from those reported in the literature, possibly due to differences between breeds, diets and environmental effects, whereas the protein requirements are different from literature mainly due to methodological differences; further studies are need to address these aspects that affects the nutritional requirements for raising sheep from different breeds in different environments.
The fraction of organic matter present affects the fragmentation behavior of sialoliths; thus, pretherapeutic information on the degree of mineralization is relevant for a correct selection of lithotripsy procedures. This work proposes a methodology for in vivo characterization of salivary calculi in the pretherapeutic context. Sialoliths were characterized in detail by X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) in combination with atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Correlative analysis of the same specimens was performed by in vivo and ex vivo helical computed tomography (HCT) and ex vivo μCT. The mineral matter in the sialoliths consisted essentially of apatite (89 vol%) and whitlockite (11 vol%) with average density of 1.8 g/cm3. In hydrated conditions, the mineral mass prevailed with 53 ± 13 wt%, whereas the organic matter, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3, occupied 65 ± 10% of the sialoliths’ volume. A quantitative relation between sialoliths mineral density and X-ray attenuation is proposed for both HCT and μCT.
We evaluated the effects of cattle manure and inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in maize plants growing in a semiarid area of Brazilian north-east in 2012 and 2013. Three isolates of AMF (Acaulosporalongula URM-FMA 07 and URM-FMA 03, Claroideoglomusetunicatum UNIVASF 06A) were used, with or without the application of cattle manure, during two growing cycles. In the first year, significant effects of inoculation were detected for straw yield only when the manure was applied. In the second year, there was an interaction between fertilisation and inoculation for plant height and grain yield, with the highest values in the fertilised treatments. Inoculation with A. longula demonstrated that mycorrhizal inoculation in field-grown plants could be an alternative management for improving plant growth and grain yield, reducing the use of cattle manure. The AMF sporulation and mycorrhizal colonisation were improved after inoculation, and A. longula URM-FMA 07 increased sporulation by more than 15 times while inoculation with C. etunicatum increased sporulation by more than 3 times. The mycorrhizal inoculation is a management practice that can be useful for recovering or maintaining AMF infective propagules in soil, showing potential to be used in large-scale field conditions in Brazilian semiarid. Although mycorrhisation presents high agricultural relevance due to benefits promoted to the soil and plants, the knowledge about the factors influencing the interactions among microorganisms, soil and plants need to be broadened aiming to achieve successful crop management in semiarid regions.
The increase of sheep meat competitiveness in international markets can be attributed to the rise of the quantity and the improvement of the quality of the edible portion of sheep carcasses. Usually, carcass yield is established after the slaughter of the animals. Yet, when carcass yield is determined in vivo, it can be both a costly and subjective method. This study proposes models for predicting the physical characteristics of lamb carcass using bioimpedance analysis (BIA) in live animals. Thirty-one Texel × Ile de France crossbreed ram lambs were slaughtered at 20, 26, 32 or 38 kg of BW. Before the slaughter, values of resistance (Rs) and reactance (Xc) were collected using a single-frequency BIA equipment (Model RJL Quantum II Bioelectrical Body Composition Analyzer). Then, BIA main variables such as body bioelectrical volume (V), phase angle (PA), resistive density (RsD) and reactive density (XcD) were calculated. After slaughter, cold carcass weight (CCW), cold carcass yield (CCY), subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT), soft tissue weight (STW) and soft tissue yield (STY) were also measured. Multiple regression analyses were carried out using the physical characteristics as dependent variables and the bioimpedance values as independent variables. Predictive performance of the models was assessed using leave-one-out cross-validation. The prediction model of CCW was obtained using the V, PA and RsD (R2 = 0.97), STW through the V, RsD and XcD (R2 = 0.97), CCY by Rs, Z and XcD (R2 = 0.69), STY by V and XcD (R2 = 0.67), and SFT only for XcD (R2 = 0.84). The results indicated that BIA has the potential to predict carcass characteristics of lambs at different body masses.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
There is a lot of evidence that chicory could be a highly palatable and nutritious source of forage for ruminants, well adapted to climate change and dry conditions in summer, thanks to its resistance to drought and high water content. This study aimed to describe the effect of incorporating chicory to ryegrass or to a ryegrass–white clover mixture on feeding behaviour, digestive parameters, nitrogen (N) balance and methane (CH4) emissions in sheep. In total, three swards of ryegrass, white clover and chicory were established and managed in a manner ensuring the forage use at a constant vegetative stage throughout the experiment. In all, four dietary treatments (pure ryegrass; binary mixture: 50% ryegrass–50% chicory; ternary mixture: 50% ryegrass–25% white clover–25% chicory; and pure chicory) were evaluated in a 4×4 replicated Latin square design with eight young castrated Texel sheep. Each experimental period consisted of an 8-day diet adaptation phase, followed by a 6-day measuring phase during which intake dynamics, chewing activity, digestibility, rumen liquid passage rate, fermentation end-products, N balance and CH4 emissions were determined. Data were analysed using a mixed model and orthogonal contrasts were used to detect the potential associative effects between ryegrass and chicory. The daily voluntary dry matter intake was lower for pure ryegrass than for diets containing chicory (P<0.001) and increased quadratically from 1.39 to 1.74 kg/day with increasing proportion of chicory. Huge positive quadratic effects (P<0.001) between ryegrass and chicory were detected on eating time and eating rate just after feeding indicating an increase of the motivation to eat with mixtures, whereas rumination activity decreased linearly with the proportion of chicory (P<0.001). The organic matter digestibility was similar among treatments (around 80%), but a strong positive quadratic P<0.001) effect was observed on liquid passage rate suggesting that chicory allowed fast particle breakdown in the rumen. Animals fed with the ryegrass–white clover–chicory mixture had the higher urinary N losses (P<0.001), whereas retained N per day or per g N intake was greater when the proportion of chicory was at least 50% (P<0.001) being ~40% greater than for the other treatments. The CH4 yield was lower with pure chicory than with the other treatments (P<0.001) for which emissions were similar. In conclusion, mixing ryegrass and chicory in equal proportions produces a synergy on voluntary intake and an improved N use efficiency likely due to complementarity in chemical composition, increased motivation to eat and faster ruminal particle breakdown.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.