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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.
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.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis in humans, the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD). Imidazole compounds are used for the treatment of trichomoniasis, and metronidazole is the most commonly prescribed. However, these compounds can lead to parasite resistance and unwanted side effects. Therefore, there is a need for an alternative treatment for this disease. Here, we explored the potential of clotrimazole (CTZ) and zinc compounds, as well as CTZ complexed with zinc salts ( acetate [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] and  a chloride [Zn(CTZ)2Cl2] complexes) against T. vaginalis. We synthesized the zinc complexed CTZ compounds and determined their concentration values that inhibited parasite growth by 50% (IC50). We used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to visualize the ultrastructural alterations induced by CTZ and their zinc complexes. The incubation of the parasites with [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] complex inhibited their growth, yielding an IC50 of 4.9 µm. Moreover, there were changes in the shape of treated parasites, including the formation of surface projections that subsequently detached from the cell, in addition to changes in the hydrogenosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex. We found [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] to be a highly effective compound against T. vaginalis in vitro, suggesting its potential utility as an alternative chemotherapy for trichomoniasis.
Circular data originates in a wide range of scientific fields and can be analyzed on the basis of directional statistics and special distributions wrapped around the circumference. However, both propensity to transform non-linear to linear data and complexity of directional statistics limited the generalization of the circular paradigm in the animal breeding framework, among others. Here, we generalized a circular mixed (CM) model within the context of Bayesian inference. Three different parametrizations with different hierarchical structures were developed on basis of the von Mises distribution; moreover, both goodness of fit and predictive ability from each parametrization were compared through the analyses of 110 116 lambing distribution records collected from Ripollesa sheep herds between 1976 and 2017. The naive circular (NC) model only accounted for population mean and homogeneous circular variance, and reached the lowest goodness-of-fit and predictive ability. The CM model assumed a hierarchical structure for the population mean by accounting for systematic (ewe age and lambing interval) and permanent environmental sources of variation (flock-year-season and ewe). This improved goodness of fit by reducing both the deviance information criterion (DIC; −2520 units) and the mean square error (MSE; −12.4%) between simulated and predicted lambing data when compared against the NC model. Finally, the last parametrization expanded CM model by also assuming a hierarchical structure with systematic and permanent environmental factors for the variance parameter of the von Mises distribution (i.e. circular canalization (CC) model). This last model reached the best goodness of fit to lambing distribution data with a DIC estimate 5425 units lower than the one for NC model (MSE reduced 13.2%). The same pattern revealed when models were compared in terms of predictive ability. The superiority revealed by CC model emphasized the relevance of heteroskedasticity for the analysis of lambing distribution in the Ripollesa breed, and suggested potential applications for the sheep industry, even genetic selection for canalization. The development of CM models on the basis of the von Mises distribution has allowed to integrate flexible hierarchical structures accounting for different sources of variation and affecting both mean and dispersion terms. This must be viewed as a useful statistical tool with multiple applications in a wide range of research fields, as well as the livestock industry. The next mandatory step should be the inclusion of genetic terms in the hierarchical structure of the models in order to evaluate their potential contribution to current selection programs.
Seasonal reproduction patterns are typically observed in small ruminants and are a major limitation for production efficiency in most meat- and dairy-type production systems. Indeed, selection for reduced seasonality could be an appealing strategy for the small ruminant industry worldwide, although its genetic background has been poorly analyzed. One of the main limitations relied on the availability of appropriate analytical tools to cope with the circular (i.e. year-round) pattern of lambing and kidding data. The recent development of a heteroskedastic circular mixed model provided the statistical tool to go deeply into the knowledge of seasonality in small ruminants. In this study, 26 005 lambing distribution records from 4764 Ripollesa ewes collected in 20 purebred flocks were analyzed. The model accounted for systematic (lambing interval and ewe age), permanent environmental (flock-year-season and ewe) and additive genetic sources of variation influencing both mean and dispersion pattern (i.e. heteroskedasticity). Systematic effects suggested that first-lambing ewes and short lambing intervals delayed lambing date (~30 days) and increased dispersion of the lambing period. Nevertheless, this was partially compensated by ewe age, given that youngest females tended to concentrate the lambing peak. Flock-year-season, permanent ewe and additive genetic sources of variation reached moderate variance components for direct (and residual) effects on lambing distribution, they being 0.119 (0.156), 0.092 (0.132) and 0.195 (0.170) radians2, respectively. Moreover, all 95% credibility intervals were placed far from the null estimate. Covariances between direct and residual effects where high and positive for additive genetic (posterior mean, 0.814) and permanent ewe effects (posterior mean, 0.917), whereas it was not relevant for flock-year-season. Selection for direct additive genetic effects should be able to advance or delay the lambing peak, whereas selection applied on residual additive genetic effects should increase or reduce seasonality (i.e. concentrate or flatten the lambing peak). Moreover, the positive and relevant genetic covariance between direct and residual effects also suggested correlated genetic responses. As example, genetic selection for earlier lambing peaks must also reduce seasonality, whereas selection for narrower lambing seasons may originate a delay in the lambing peak. These results must be viewed as the first attempt to analyze systematic, environmental and genetic sources of variation of lambing distribution within the circular paradigm, they providing a reliable characterization of these effects within the context of an heteroskedastic model.
Jakobshavn Isbræ, a tidewater glacier that produces some of Greenland's largest icebergs and highest speeds, reached record-high flow rates in 2012 (Joughin and others, 2014). We use terrestrial radar interferometric observations from August 2012 to characterize the events that led to record-high flow. We find that the highest speeds occurred in response to a small calving retreat, while several larger calving events produced negligible changes in glacier speed. This non-linear response to calving events suggests the terminus was close to flotation and therefore highly sensitive to terminus position. Our observations indicate that a glacier's response to calving is a consequence of two competing feedbacks: (1) an increase in strain rates that leads to dynamic thinning and faster flow, thereby promoting destabilization, and (2) an increase in flow rates that advects thick ice toward the terminus and promotes restabilization. The competition between these feedbacks depends on temporal and spatial variations in the glacier's proximity to flotation. This study highlights the importance of dynamic thinning and advective processes on tidewater glacier stability, and further suggests the latter may be limiting the current retreat due to the thick ice that occupies Jakobshavn Isbræ’s retrograde bed.
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.
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.
The use of natural clays for the removal of dyes from wastewater, an important part of environmental remediation, is desirable due, not least, to their low cost. Palygorskite (PAL), a rigid-structure clay, is a good candidate for use in the elimination of industrial effluents, based on its exceptional adsorptive properties. Recently, a new palygorskite deposit has been discovered in Cuba and its use in the adsorption of dyes has not yet been explored in detail. In the present study, the use of unmodified natural Cuban palygorskite as a host for dyes was evaluated. Congo red (CR) and methylene blue (MB) were the anionic and cationic dyes tested, respectively, because of their wide use and toxicity to the environment. Several physical-chemical parameters were studied in order to establish the best experimental conditions under which to achieve the greatest dye load per gram of clay. Natural mixtures with different percentages of montmorillonite were also tested to evaluate their effect on the adsorption of the dyes. The results indicated that at pH values of ~7–9 and an initial dye concentration of 0.1 mg mL–1, the process was efficient. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis proved the surface adsorption of both dyes on the clays. The main interactions involved in the clay-dye system were electrostatic forces and H-bonds. Adsorption of CR seemed to be controlled fundamentally by the palygorskite phase. Such results support the use of this natural clay as an efficient host for the removal of MB and CR from wastewater.
Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a prevalent infection related to abortion, ocular diseases and encephalitis in immuno-compromised individuals. In the untreatable (and life-long) chronic stage of toxoplasmosis, parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs, containing T. gondii tachyzoites) transform into tissue cysts, containing slow-dividing bradyzoite forms. While acute-stage infection with tachyzoites involves global rearrangement of the host cell cytoplasm, focused on favouring tachyzoite replication, the cytoplasmic architecture of cells infected with cysts had not been described. Here, we characterized (by fluorescence and electron microscopy) the redistribution of host cell structures around T. gondii cysts, using a T. gondii strain (EGS) with high rates of spontaneous cystogenesis in vitro. Microtubules and intermediate filaments (but not actin microfilaments) formed a ‘cage’ around the cyst, and treatment with taxol (to inhibit microtubule dynamics) favoured cystogenesis. Mitochondria, which appeared adhered to the PV membrane, were less closely associated with the cyst wall. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) profiles were intimately associated with folds in the cyst wall membrane. However, the Golgi complex was not preferentially localized relative to the cyst, and treatment with tunicamycin or brefeldin A (to disrupt Golgi or ER function, respectively) had no significant effect on cystogenesis. Lysosomes accumulated around cysts, while early and late endosomes were more evenly distributed in the cytoplasm. The endocytosis tracer HRP (but not BSA or transferrin) reached bradyzoites after uptake by infected host cells. These results suggest that T. gondii cysts reorganize the host cell cytoplasm, which may fulfil specific requirements of the chronic stage of infection.
The appropriate supply of nutrients in pregnant cows has been associated with the optimal development of foetal tissues, performance of their progeny and their meat quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate supplementation effects of grazing cows in different stages of gestation on skeletal muscle development and performance of the progeny. Thereby, 27 Nellore cows were divided into three groups (n=9 for each group) and their progeny as follows: UNS, unsupplemented during gestation; MID, supplemented from 30 to 180 days of gestation; LATE, supplemented from 181 to 281 days of gestation. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the matrices was the following: ground corn (26.25%), wheat bran (26.25%) and soya bean meal (47.5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 30% CP. Supplemented matrices received 150 kg of supplement (1 and 1.5 kg/day for cows in the MID and LATE groups, respectively). After birth, a biopsy was performed to obtain samples of skeletal muscle tissue from calves to determine number and size of muscle fibres and for messenger RNA (mRNA) expression analysis. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the progeny was the following: ground corn grain (30%), wheat bran (30%), soya bean meal (35%) and molasses (5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 25% CP and offered in an amount of 6 g/kg BW. Performance of the progeny was monitored throughout the suckling period. Means were submitted to ANOVA and regression, and UNS, MID and LATE periods of supplementation were compared. Differences were considered at P<0.10. Birth weight, average daily gain and weaning weight of the offspring did not differ among treatments (P>0.10). Similarly, no differences were observed between calves for nutrient intake (P>0.10). However, greater subcutaneous fat thickness (P=0.006) was observed in the calves of LATE group. The ribeye area (P=0.077) was greater in calves born from supplemented compared with UNS cows. The supplementation of pregnant cows did not affect the muscle fibre size of their progeny (P=0.208). On the other hand, calves born from dams supplemented at mid-gestation had greater muscle fibre number (P=0.093) compared with calves from UNS group. Greater mRNA expression of peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor α (P=0.073) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (P=0.003) was observed in the calves born from MID cows. Although strategic supplementation did not affect the BW of offspring, it did cause changes in carcass traits, number of myofibres, and mRNA expression of a muscle hypertrophy and lipid oxidation markers in skeletal muscle of the offspring.
The present study aimed to assess the effects of an early childhood nutrition counselling intervention on intelligence (as measured by the intelligence quotient (IQ)) at age 15–16 years.
A single-blind, cluster-randomised trial.
In 1998, in Southern Brazil, mothers of children aged 18 months or younger were enrolled in a nutrition counselling intervention (n 424). Counselling included encouragement and promotion of exclusive breast-feeding until 6 months of age and continued breast-feeding supplemented by protein-, lipid- and carbohydrate-rich foods after age 6 months up to age 2 years. The control group received routine feeding advice. In 2013, the fourth round of follow-up of these individuals, at the age of 15–16 years, was undertaken. IQ was assessed using the short form of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III). Mental disorders (evaluated using the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA)) and self-reported school failure, smoking and alcohol use were also investigated. Adjusted analyses were conducted using a multilevel model in accordance with the sampling process.
Adolescents, mean (sd) age of 15·4 (0·5) years (n 339).
Mean (sd) total IQ score was lower in the intervention group than the control group (93·4 (11·4) and 95·8 (11·2), respectively) but the association did not persist after adjustment. The prevalence of any mental disorders was similar between intervention and control groups (23·1 and 23·5 %, respectively). There were no differences between groups regarding school failure, smoking and alcohol use.
Nutrition counselling intervention in early childhood had no effect on intelligence measured during adolescence.
In autumn 2014, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases presenting with severe respiratory or neurological disease were described in countries worldwide. To describe the epidemiology and virological characteristics of EV-D68 in England, we collected clinical information on laboratory-confirmed EV-D68 cases detected in secondary care (hospitals), between September 2014 and January 2015. In primary care (general practitioners), respiratory swabs collected (September 2013–January 2015) from patients presenting with influenza-like illness were tested for EV-D68. In secondary care 55 EV-D68 cases were detected. Among those, 45 cases had clinical information available and 89% (40/45) presented with severe respiratory symptoms. Detection of EV-D68 among patients in primary care increased from 0.4% (4/1074; 95% CI 0.1–1.0) (September 2013–January 2014) to 0.8% (11/1359; 95% CI 0.4–1.5) (September 2014–January 2015). Characterization of EV-D68 strains circulating in England since 2012 and up to winter 2014/2015 indicated that those strains were genetically similar to those detected in 2014 in USA. We recommend reinforcing enterovirus surveillance through screening respiratory samples of suspected cases.
Observations of metal absorption lines in the spectra of QSOs out to z > 6 are providing an important probe into the enrichment and ionization state of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at the tail end of reionization. Using simulations with four different feedback models, including the Illustris and Sherwood simulations, we investigate how the overall incidence rate and equivalent width distribution of metal-line absorbers varies with the galactic wind scheme. The low-ionization absorbers are reasonably insensitive to the feedback implementation, with all models reasonably close to the observed incidence rate of O i absorbers. However, all of our models struggle to reproduce the observations of C iv, which is probing overdensities close to the mean at z ~ 6, suggesting that the metals are not being transported out into the IGM efficiently enough in these simulations.
The Javalambre-Physics of the Accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) is a narrow-band imaging, very wide field cosmological survey. It will last 5 years and will observe 8500 sq. deg. of the sky. There will be 54 contiguous narrow-band filters of 145Å FWHM, from 3,500 to 10,000Å. Two broad-band filters will be added at the extremes, UV and IR, plus the 3–g, r, and i– SDSS filters. Thus, J-PAS can be an important tool to search for new planetary nebulae (PNe) at the halo, increasing their numbers, because only 14 of them have been convincingly identified in the literature. Halo PNe are able to reveal precious information for the study of stellar evolution and the early chemical conditions of the Galaxy. The characteristic low continuum and intense emission lines of PNe make them good objects to be searched by J-PAS. Though covering a significantly smaller sky area, data from the ALHAMBRA survey were used to test our J-PAS strategy to search for PNe. Our first results are shown in this contribution.
Stellar populations are fossil records of several physical processes which occur in galaxies and their distribution within these objects may provide important clues on how they form and evolve. By using parameters from image processing we have been developing a new approach to understand the spatial distribution of stellar populations and how this is correlated with the form and evolution of galaxies. In this work we present some results obtained with data from the CALIFA survey.