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Prematurity is a risk factor for hypertension, vascular stiffness, nephron deficit and adult onset cardiorenal disease. The vascular tree and kidneys share morphogenic drivers that promote maturation in utero before 36 weeks of gestation. Vascular elastin accrual terminates after birth leaving collagen to promote vascular stiffness. Our objective was to determine if the histomorphometry of the umbilical artery, an extension of the aorta, parallels nephron mass across gestational age groups. From a cohort of 54 newborns, 32 umbilical cord specimens were adequate for evaluation. The umbilical cord was sectioned, stained with trichrome, and digitalized. Muscular and collagenous areas of the umbilical artery were measured in pixels using the Image J 1.48q software. Total kidney volume was measured by ultrasound and factored by body surface area (TKV/BSA). The umbilical artery total area was significantly greater in term v. preterm infants (9.3±1.3 v. 7.0±2.0 mm2; P<0.05) and increased with gestational age; while the percent muscular and collagen areas were independent of gestational age (R2=0.04; P=ns). Percent muscular area correlated positively with TKV/BSA (r=0.53; P=0.002); while an increase in collagen correlated inversely with kidney mass (r=−0.53; P=0.002). In conclusion, an enhanced % muscular area and presumed vascular elasticity was associated with increased renal mass in all infants. Umbilical artery histomorphometry provides a link between the intrauterine environment, vascular and kidney development.
Deflection missions to near-Earth asteroids will encounter non-negligible uncertainties in the physical and orbital parameters of the target object. In order to reliably assess future impact threat mitigation operations such uncertainties have to be quantified and incorporated into the mission design. The implementation of deflection demonstration missions offers the great opportunity to test our current understanding of deflection relevant uncertainties and their consequences, e.g., regarding kinetic impacts on asteroid surfaces. In this contribution, we discuss the role of uncertainties in the NEOTωIST asteroid deflection demonstration concept, a low-cost kinetic impactor design elaborated in the framework of the NEOShield project. The aim of NEOTωIST is to change the spin state of a known and well characterized near-Earth object, in this case the asteroid (25143) Itokawa. Fast events such as the production of the impact crater and ejecta are studied via cube-sat chasers and a flyby vehicle. Long term changes, for instance, in the asteroid's spin and orbit, can be assessed using ground based observations. We find that such a mission can indeed provide valuable constraints on mitigation relevant parameters. Furthermore, the here proposed kinetic impact scenarios can be implemented within the next two decades without threatening Earth's safety.
The development and life performance of 404 high-producing Holstein dairy cows was studied from birth onwards and during two lactations. The management, environment and parental genetics of the cows were known in detail. Cluster analysis identified four performance ‘types’: high-yielding (HY) cows and persistently high-yielding (PHY) cows, which accounted for 33% of the animals; medium-yielding (MY) cows, 41%; and low-yielding (LY) cows, 26%. Prenatal determinants of the life performance of the progeny were analyzed. Developmental and environmental factors were excluded as determinants of performance (including birth weight, level of passive immunity transfer, growth rate, age at first parturition and reproductive efficiency). Life performance did show minor seasonal effects, with more HY cows but less PHY being born during the cold season (90.1% in HY; 58.3% in PHY v. 81.5%). Instead, the single most important factor influencing life performance of daughters was maternal age. HY cows were born from the youngest mothers (1.89±1.14 parturitions, 3.12±1.42-year old), whereas LY cows were born from the oldest (2.72±1.80 parturitions, 3.97±2.01-year old; P<0.001). Life performance of the dams did not differ among clusters. In addition, metabolic parameters (fat and protein yield) were found to correlate significantly with yields between the first and second lactations (milk yield: r=0.357; fat yield: r=0.211; protein yield: r=0.277; P<0.0001), suggesting the influence of the individual. These results suggest that under optimal health, nutritional and environmental conditions, maternal aging is an important determinant of the life performance of progeny and argue for the need to identify conditions that contribute to health and disease in progeny according to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease or DOHaD concept. Our findings may help the development of novel management guidelines for dairy farms.
The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) is considered to be an important site of abnormality in major depressive disorder. However, structural alterations in this region have not been a consistent finding and functional imaging studies have also implicated additional areas.
A total of 32 patients with major depressive disorder, currently depressed, and 64 controls underwent structural imaging with MRI. Also, 26 patients and 52 controls were examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of the n-back working memory task. Structural and functional changes were evaluated using whole-brain, voxel-based methods.
The depressed patients showed volume reductions in the sgACC and orbitofrontal cortex bilaterally, plus in both temporal poles and the hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus on the left. Functional imaging revealed task-related hypoactivation in the left lateral prefrontal cortex and other regions, as well as failure of deactivation in a subcallosal medial frontal cortical area which included the sgACC.
Whole-brain, voxel-based analysis finds evidence of both structural and functional abnormality in the sgACC in major depressive disorder. The fact that the functional changes in this area took the form of failure of deactivation adds to previous findings of default mode network dysfunction in the disorder.
Although the intensive production system of Lacaune dairy sheep is the only profitable method for producers outside of the French Roquefort area, little is known about this type of systems. This study evaluated yield records of 3677 Lacaune sheep under intensive management between 2005 and 2010 in order to describe the lactation curve of this breed and to investigate the suitability of different mathematical functions for modeling this curve. A total of 7873 complete lactations during a 40-week lactation period corresponding to 201 281 pieces of weekly yield data were used. First, five mathematical functions were evaluated on the basis of the residual mean square, determination coefficient, Durbin Watson and Runs Test values. The two better models were found to be Pollott Additive and fractional polynomial (FP). In the second part of the study, the milk yield, peak of milk yield, day of peak and persistency of the lactations were calculated with Pollot Additive and FP models and compared with the real data. The results indicate that both models gave an extremely accurate fit to Lacaune lactation curves in order to predict milk yields (P = 0.871), with the FP model being the best choice to provide a good fit to an extensive amount of real data and applicable on farm without specific statistical software. On the other hand, the interpretation of the parameters of the Pollott Additive function helps to understand the biology of the udder of the Lacaune sheep. The characteristics of the Lacaune lactation curve and milk yield are affected by lactation number and length. The lactation curves obtained in the present study allow the early identification of ewes with low milk yield potential, which will help to optimize farm profitability.
No comprehensive study has yet been conducted to determine the chronostratigraphic distribution of palygorskite in the Tertiary sediments of Iran. Thirty sediment samples of different Tertiary epochs were taken, based on the field observations and geological maps. The clay fraction of samples was then investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results showed that sediments of the Miocene and Pliocene had large amounts of palygorskite whereas no trace of this mineral was found in the sediments from the Palaeocene, Eocene and Oligocene. Geochemical analyses revealed that sediments younger than the Oligocene had greater amounts of soluble Mg and H4SiO4 and a higher pH than those of the Palaeocene and Eocene. The stability diagram of the smectite-palygorskite system suggests that smectite is unstable and transforms to palygorskite in Neogene sediments. The SEM micrographs showed palygorskite as interwoven fibrous mats, coatings, pore-fillings and pore-bridging material in Neogene sediments. This textural evidence suggests a direct chemical precipitation of palygorskite by dissolution of silicates under the alkaline conditions. The results also suggest that geochemical conditions in the Early Tertiary era, represented by deep-sea conditions in central Iran, were not apparently favourable for palygoskite formation until the Late Oligocene.
Sirtuin proteins form a family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases that are considered potential drug targets against parasites. Here, we present the first characterization of a sirtuin orthologue from Leishmania amazonensis, an aetiological agent of American tegumentary leishmaniasis that has been the subject of many studies focused in the development of therapeutic approaches. The protein has high sequence identity with other Kinetoplastid Silent information regulator 2 Related Protein 1 (Sir2RP1) and was named LaSir2RP1. The gene exists as a single copy, encoding a monomeric protein (LaSir2RP1) of approximately 41 kDa that has NAD+-dependent deacetylase activity. LaSir2RP1 was immunodetected in total protein extracts, in cytoplasmic granules, and in the secreted material of both promastigotes and lesion-derived amastigotes. Analysis of both lectin‑affinity purified promastigote and amastigote extracts revealed the presence of a major enriched protein of approximately 66 kDa that was recognized by an anti-LaSir2RP1 serum, suggesting that a parasite sirtuin could be glycosylated in vivo.
This study reports the results obtained in the search of chromosomal regions affecting fleece traits in a population of Angora goats in the Argentinean Patagonia. Six hundred thirty-four offspring from 14 parental half-sib families were used. Nine phenotypic fleece traits were recorded at 4 and 11 months of age. A genome examination using 85 informative molecular markers was conducted. A linkage analysis was performed using a regression interval analysis. Our study identified 10 genomic regions affecting the average fibre diameter, coefficient of variation of the average fibre diameter, percentage of fibres with diameters over 30 µm, greasy fleece weight, staple length, average curvature of fibres, percentage of continuous medullated fibres and percentage of kemp fibres located on five goat chromosomes (1, 2, 5, 13 and 19). These results show that the average size of the quantitative trait loci effect was 1.6 phenotypic standard deviations for different traits and families. The aims of quantitative trait loci detection is the potential use of these molecular markers to increase accuracy in predicting the genetic merit of breeding and its implementation in animal breeding schemes through marker-assisted selection.