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The gas production (GP) technique has previously been used to estimate the gas volume (fermentable energy (FE)) of compound feed ingredients for ruminants (Newbold et al., 1996). It was shown that the FE content of feed mixtures was represented by the combination of the total gas from the incubation of the individual feeds. However this additivity might not be consistent throughout the incubation period. The objectives were to test whether 1. other GP parameters give better estimates of FE for simple mixtures and are they additive; 2. whether organic matter apparently degraded in the rumen (OMADR) explain differences in GP; and 3. to find out if there are any other better measures than OMADR for estimating FE.
Agriculture is one of the major sources of methane in the UK and the major contribution is that from the ruminant animal. Most current inventories include evaluations of emission rates determined from ammals in respiration chambers. Methodolgy has been developed at IGER, North Wyke which enables measurements to be made with grazing animals (tunnel system). Preliminary measurements have indicated that methane emissions from grazing sheep in the tunnel system were lower than reported values for zero-grazed grass determined in chambers. The objective was to determine if these observed differences were a result of methodological differences.
Fermentable energy (FE) was defined in the latest United Kingdom metabolizable protein system as energy available for microbial protein growth and multiplication in the rumen (Agricultural and Food Research Council, 1992). In this system the FE value was calculated by subtracting the metabolizable energy (ME) of fat and ME of any fermentation products from the ME of the food. This estimation is indirect and largely based on whole tract digestion data, thus it can not take into account the influence of rumen outflow, fermentation and degradation rate and digesta retention time in the rumen. In addition, this approach does not take into account undegradable protein and /or starch. As a result, the precision of the FE values are questionable. Therefore a precise, accurate, rapid, cheap and direct technique to measure FE from food ingredients should be developed. Such a technique should consider the factors mentioned above. This work evaluated the ability of four techniques to estimate the FE value of concentrate foods for ruminants.
The in situ and in vitro techniques have been adopted to estimate the degradability of organic matter (OM) in the rumen on the basis that this provides an estimate of ATP for microbial protein synthesis. However this assumption may be incorrect since ATP production requires the fermentation of degraded carbohydrate and Beever (1993) has shown that some degraded hexose can be used synthetically without ATP production. In addition, degraded OM from protein is likely to produce less ATP than the same amount of degraded carbohydrate. The gas production (GP) technique measures end products of fermentation and may be a better guide to ATP production. On the assumption that the in situ and in vitro techniques provide satisfactory estimation of OM degradability, the work discussed here used the GP technique to estimate the effective unfermentable OM fraction of the degraded OM (EUFDOM) for a range of concentrate foods.
Fat content is one of the main factors affecting the degradability and fermentability characteristics of oil-rich foods estimated by means of the in situ, in vitro and gas production techniques. Filtered fat, considered degraded/fermented, is of limited value to the rumen microbes and may inhibit fermentation. Pre-extraction of oil may be one way to solve this problem. The rumen organic matter degradability (OMD) and fermentability (FOM) of concentrate foods were evaluated in this study with and without oil extraction.
A considerable proportion of beef produced in the UK is a byproduct of the dairy industry. Young animals from this source are generally regarded as low in quality and meat from animals of this type is usually destined for the commodity minced beef market. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of slaughter weight on sensory characteristics of meat from Holstein-Friesian bulls and steers offered a cereal-based ration.
Herrero et al. (1996) found that NIRS was able to calibrate and cross-validate the static values of gas produced from the incubation of Kikuyu grass using manual in vitro gas production. However, the fermentation kinetic coefficients were not calibrated satisfactorily by NIRS. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of NIRS as a means of predicting fermentation and the France et al. (1993) model parameters obtained from the automated in vitro gas production experiments for a range of concentrate feeds.
Thirty-eight milled (1 mm) samples representing three typical concentrate feed types were scanned over the infra-red region covering 1100 to 2300 nm using an NIRS systems 6500 spectrometer. Optical data recorded as log 1/Reflectance were transformed to their standard normal variates and detrended values (SNV-D).
Methane formation in the rumen represents a substantial loss of energy to the animal and is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Methanogenesis is the main means of disposal of hydrogen during rumen fermentation. The formation of propionate represents an alternative route of hydrogen disposal, providing sufficient propionate precursors are available. Theoretically, adding propionate precursors should stimulate propionate production and decrease methane production. In the present experiment, the effects of two potential precursors of propionate, fumarate and acrylate, on rumen fermentation and methane production were investigated in a rumen simulating fermentor.
This study was based on research to identify particular pig breeds, which produce high quality eating pork. Duroc in particular is thought to improve meat quality of progeny when crossed with Large White/Landrace (LW/Lr) hybrid dams by altering the intra-muscular fat (IMF) content of the lean, which is positively related to eating quality (McGloughlin et al., 1988). The extraction of IMF is slow and laborious with harmful solvents involved. Eichinger and Beck (1991) have successfully used NIRS to measure IMF ranging from 1-11% in 39 beef carcases. Ground beef and pork samples have also been predicted for fat, water and protein by NIRS, with prediction errors of 0.82-1.49%, 0.94-1.33% and 0.35-0.70% respectively (Togersen et al.,1999). Instrumental measurements of pork are accepted as indicators of tenderness. Sensory variables such as juiciness, tenderness and flavour are important characteristics for the consumer. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the potential of NIRS to estimate the chemical, physical and sensory parameters of homogenized fresh pork eye muscle.
It is well established that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with controls. However, the role of these as risk factors is less clearly established. The aims of this systematic review were to investigate: (1) whether anxiety and/or depression predict IBS onset; (2) the size of the relative risk (RR) of anxiety versus depression in IBS onset. Subgroup analyses explored if methodological factors affected the overall findings.
Prospective cohort or case–control studies were included if they: (1) focused on the development of IBS in population-based or gastroenteritis cohorts; (2) explored the effects of anxiety and/or depression at baseline as predictors of IBS onset at a future point. In all, 11 studies were included of which eight recruited participants with a gastrointestinal infection. Meta-analyses were conducted.
The risk of developing IBS was double for anxiety cases at baseline compared with those who were not [RR 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.58–3.60]. Similar results were found for depression (RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.44–2.96). Anxiety and depression seemed to play a stronger role in IBS onset in individuals with a gastrointestinal infection although this could be attributed to other differences in methodology, such as use of diagnostic interviews rather than self-report.
The findings suggest that self-reported anxiety and depression provide a twofold risk for IBS onset. There is less support for the role of anxiety or depressive disorder diagnosed using clinical interview. These findings may have implications for the development of interventions focused on IBS prevention and treatment.
Hippocampal volume reductions in major depression have been frequently reported. However, evidence for functional abnormalities in the same region in depression has been less clear. We investigated hippocampal function in depression using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and neuropsychological tasks tapping spatial memory function, with complementing measures of hippocampal volume and resting blood flow to aid interpretation.
A total of 20 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and a matched group of 20 healthy individuals participated. Participants underwent multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): fMRI during a spatial memory task, and structural MRI and resting blood flow measurements of the hippocampal region using arterial spin labelling. An offline battery of neuropsychological tests, including several measures of spatial memory, was also completed.
The fMRI analysis showed significant group differences in bilateral anterior regions of the hippocampus. While control participants showed task-dependent differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal, depressed patients did not. No group differences were detected with regard to hippocampal volume or resting blood flow. Patients showed reduced performance in several offline neuropsychological measures. All group differences were independent of differences in hippocampal volume and hippocampal blood flow.
Functional abnormalities of the hippocampus can be observed in patients with MDD even when the volume and resting perfusion in the same region appear normal. This suggests that changes in hippocampal function can be observed independently of structural abnormalities of the hippocampus in depression.
The effect of prenatal distress on the risk of a small for gestational age (SGA) infant is uncertain. We have addressed the influences of prenatal stress, anxiety and depression on the risk of SGA. We also examined the effects of infant sex and timing of distress during pregnancy on any observed associations.
The study population comprised 5606 healthy nulliparous pregnant women who participated in the international prospective Screening for Obstetric and Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study. Women completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the short form of the Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 15 ± 1 and 20 ± 1 weeks' gestation. SGA was defined as birthweight below the 10th customized percentile. Logistic regression was used for data analysis, adjusting for several potential confounders such as maternal age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, socio-economic status and physical exercise.
The risk of SGA was increased in relation to mild [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07–1.71], moderate (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06–1.49), high (aOR 1.45, 95% CI 1.08–1.95) and very high stress scores (aOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.03–2.37); very high anxiety score (aOR 1.45, 95% CI 1.13–1.86); and very high depression score (aOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05–1.24) at 20 ± 1 weeks' gestation. Sensitivity analyses showed that very high anxiety and very high depression increases the risk of SGA in males but not in females whereas stress increases the risk of SGA in both males and females.
These findings suggest that prenatal stress, anxiety and depression measured at 20 weeks' gestation increase the risk of SGA. The effects of maternal anxiety and depression on SGA were strongest in male infants.
In the eastern Tibetan plateau both human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by infection with Echincoccus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively are highly endemic. The domestic dog plays a key role in zoonotic transmission in this region. Our primary objective was to investigate the role of domestic dogs in maintaining transmission of E. multilocularis in Shiqu county, Sichuan. A cohort of 281 dogs was followed up over one year after a single treatment with praziquantel followed by re-infection surveillance at 2, 5 and 12 months post-treatment. Faecal samples were tested by an Echinococcus genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and two species-specific copro-PCR tests. Total Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence in Shiqu at baseline was 21% and 9·6% after 2 months. E. multilocularis copro-PCR was positive in 11·2% of dogs before treatment (vs 3·6% with E. granulosus copro-DNA), 2·9% at 2 months post-treatment, and 0% at 5 month and 12 months. The results suggest that dogs may have the potential to maintain E. multilocularis transmission within local pastoral communities, and thus dog dosing could be an effective strategy to reduce transmission of E. multilocularis as well as E. granulosus in these co-endemic Tibetan communities.
Antenatal corticosteroids are used to augment fetal lung maturity in human pregnancy. Dexamethasone (DEX) is also used to treat congenital adrenal hyperplasia of the fetus in early pregnancy. We previously reported effects of synthetic corticosteroids given to sheep in early or late gestation on pregnancy length and fetal cortisol levels and glucocorticoids alter plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) concentrations in late pregnancy and reduce fetal weight. The effects of administering DEX in early pregnancy on fetal organ weights and betamethasone (BET) given in late gestation on weights of fetal brain regions or organ development have not been reported. We hypothesized that BET or DEX administration at either stage of pregnancy would have deleterious effects on fetal development and associated hormones. In early pregnancy, DEX was administered as four injections at 12-hourly intervals over 48 h commencing at 40–42 days of gestation (dG). There was no consistent effect on fetal weight, or individual fetal organ weights, except in females at 7 months postnatal age. When BET was administered at 104, 111 and 118 dG, the previously reported reduction in total fetal weight was associated with significant reductions in weights of fetal brain, cerebellum, heart, kidney and liver. Fetal plasma insulin, leptin and triiodothyronine were also reduced at different times in fetal and postnatal life. We conclude that at the amounts given, the sheep fetus is sensitive to maternal administration of synthetic glucocorticoid in late gestation, with effects on growth and metabolic hormones that may persist into postnatal life.
In this study, we determined the gene and/or protein expression of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis regulatory molecules following synthetic glucocorticoid exposures. Pregnant sheep received intramuscular saline or betamethasone (BET) injections at 104 (BET-1), 104 and 111(BET-2) or 104, 111 and 118 (BET-3) days of gestation (dG). Samples were collected at numerous time-points between 75 dG and 12 weeks postnatal age. In the BET-3 treatment group, fetal plasma cortisol levels were lower at 145 dG than controls and gestational length was lengthened significantly. The cortisol:adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) ratio in fetal plasma of control and BET-3 fetuses rose significantly between132 and 145 dG, and remained elevated in lambs at 6 and 12 weeks of age; this rise was truncated at day 145 in fetuses of BET-3 treated mothers. After BET treatment, fetal and postnatal pituitary proopiomelanocortin mRNA levels were reduced from 109 dG to 12 weeks postnatal age; pituitary prohormone convertase 1 and 2 mRNA levels were reduced at 145 dG and postnatally; hypothalamic arginine vasopressin mRNA levels were lowered at all time-points, but corticotrophin-releasing hormone mRNA levels were reduced only in postnatal lambs. Maternal BET increased late fetal and/or postnatal adrenal mRNA levels of ACTH receptor and 3β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase but decreased steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and P450 17-α hydroxylase. The altered mRNA levels of key HPA axis regulatory proteins after maternal BET injections suggests processes that may subserve long-term changes in HPA activity in later life after prenatal exposure to synthetic glucocorticoids.
1 Thessalonians 4.16–17 has occasioned much scholarly speculation regarding Paul's conception of the resurrected body, the character of those caught up in Christ, the ultimate fate of those who are caught up in the air, and Pauline eschatology in general. The interpretation of the passage may be illuminated by comparison with rabbinic traditions in which the righteous escape judgment and destruction in Sheol by flying and being borne aloft by clouds, traditions that, given Paul's Jewish heritage, could well stand in the background of 1 Thess 4.16–17.