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Contrary to intensive pig production, local pig breeds and their production systems are able to respond to the high criteria and expectations of modern society in regard to some environmental aspects, animal welfare, food quality and healthiness. This study proposes the recovery, study and use of a cross between two local breeds, contributing to animal biodiversity conservation and to the income of local pig producers. This work studied the growth performance and blood, carcass and meat quality traits of Alentejano (AL), Bísaro (BI) and Ribatejano (RI) (AL × BI, BI × AL) castrated male pigs. Raised outdoors, pigs were fed commercial diets ad libitum and killed at ~65 kg (trial 1, n = 10 from each genotype) and ~150 kg BW (trial 2, n = 9 from each genotype). In trial 1, AL and AL × BI attained slaughter weight later than BI and BI × AL pigs, with AL presenting lower average daily gains than the other genotypes (P < 0.001). Alentejano and RI pigs presented higher (P < 0.01) levels of plasma total protein than BI. Overall, carcass traits were affected by genotype, with length (P < 0.01), yield (P = 0.07) and lean cut proportions (P < 0.01) lower in AL than BI, and intermediate values for crossed pigs. Conversely, AL pigs presented higher fat cut proportion (P < 0.01), average backfat thickness (P < 0.001) and ‘zwei punkte’ fat depth (P < 0.01) than BI and RI pigs. Alentejano pigs also presented higher Longissimus lumborum (LL) intramuscular fat (P < 0.05), myoglobin content and ultimate pH (P < 0.01), but lower total collagen (P < 0.05), drip (P < 0.001) and cooking losses (P < 0.01), and shear force (P < 0.001) than all other genotypes. Finally, LL showed a more intense red colour in AL than in BI pigs. In trial 2, AL pigs confirmed to be a slow-growing obese breed with lower bone and lean cut proportions than BI, and higher LL intramuscular fat, richer colour, lower water loss and higher tenderness. In both trials, RI pigs grew faster, with higher lean and lower fat cut proportions and backfat thickness, and with overall LL characteristics comparable to those observed in AL pigs. This work demonstrates some clear differences between AL and BI breeds while showing that their crosses present intermediate characteristics in most studied traits. These data on RI pigs can be useful to breeders’ associations and farmers in order to consider the use of these crosses as an option or complement to pure line breeding.
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.
Before drawing conclusions on the contribution of an effective intervention to daily practice and initiating dissemination, its quality and implementation in daily practice should be optimal. The aim of this process evaluation was to study these aspects alongside a randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of a multidisciplinary biannual medication review in long-term care organizations (NTR3569).
Process evaluation with multiple measurements.
Thirteen units for people with dementia in six long-term care organizations in the Netherlands.
Physicians, pharmacists, and nursing staff of participating units.
The PROPER intervention is a structured and biannually repeated multidisciplinary medication review supported by organizational preparation and education, evaluation, and guidance.
Web-based questionnaires, interviews, attendance lists of education sessions, medication reviews and evaluation meetings, minutes, evaluation, and registration forms.
Participation rates in education sessions (95%), medication reviews (95%), and evaluation meetings (82%) were high. The intervention’s relevance and feasibility and applied implementation strategies were highly rated. However, the education sessions and conversations during medication reviews were too pharmacologically oriented for several nursing staff members. Identified barriers to implementation were required time, investment, planning issues, and high staff turnover; facilitators were the positive attitude of professionals toward the intervention, the support of higher management, and the appointment of a local implementation coordinator.
Implementation was successful. The commitment of both higher management and professionals was an important factor. This may partly have been due to the subject being topical; Dutch long-term-care organizations are pressed to lower inappropriate psychotropic drug use.
More than 130 late Pleistocene trackway sites from the coastal eolianites and beach deposits of the Cape south coast, South Africa, have previously mostly yielded tracks of large mammals and birds. However, two sites east of Still Bay, and a third near Garden Route National Park, yield distinctive trackways of hatchling sea turtles, made during the short posthatching (postemergence) interval when the trackmakers headed for the sea. One assemblage of approximately parallel trackways indicates smaller loggerhead turtle hatchlings, with alternating gaits, and contrasts with a wider trackway indicating a leatherback turtle hatchling. These are the world's first reports of fossil traces that document this brief “run-for the-sea” phenomenon. They help delineate late Pleistocene sea turtle breeding ranges and indicate climatic conditions along the Cape south coast. Ichnotaxonomically defined swim tracks of large adult sea turtles are known from a few Mesozoic sites. Likewise, walking and swim traces of terrestrial freshwater turtles are also known from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. However, as no ichnotaxonomy exists for these diagnostic hatchling trails, we assign the trackways of the inferred loggerheads to the new ichnotaxon Australochelichnus agulhasii ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov., and the inferred leatherback trackway to Marinerichnus latus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov.
Twin registries often take part in large collaborative projects and are major contributors to genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis studies. In this article, we describe genotyping of twin-family populations from Australia, the Midwestern USA (Avera Twin Register), the Netherlands (Netherlands Twin Register), as well as a sample of mothers of twins from Nigeria to assess the extent, if any, of genetic differences between them. Genotyping in all cohorts was done using a custom-designed Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA), optimized to improve imputation quality for population-specific GWA studies. We investigated the degree of genetic similarity between the populations using several measures of population variation with genotype data generated from the GSA. Visualization of principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American populations exhibit negligible interpopulation stratification when compared to each other, to a reference European population and to globally distant populations. Estimations of fixation indices (FST values) between the Australian, Midwestern American and Netherlands populations suggest minimal genetic differentiation compared to the estimates between each population and a genetically distinct cohort (i.e., samples from Nigeria genotyped on GSA). Thus, results from this study demonstrate that genotype data from the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American twin-family populations can be reasonably combined for joint-genetic analysis.
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.
Chronic aggression and violence in schizophrenia are rare, but receive disproportionate negative media coverage. This contributes to the stigma of mental illness and reduces accessibility to mental health services. Substance Use Disorders (SUD), antisocial behavior, non-adherence and recidivism are known risk factors for violence. Treatment with antipsychotic medication can reduce violence. Aside from clozapine, long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAI) appear to be superior to oral antipsychotics for preventing violence, addressing adherence and recidivism. LAI also facilitate the implementation of functional skills training. For the high-risk recidivist target population with schizophrenia, better life skills have the potential to also reduce the risk for contact with the legal system, including an improved ability to live independently in supported environments and interact appropriately with others. High-risk patients who are resistant to treatment with other antipsychotics should receive treatment with clozapine due to its direct positive effects on impulsive violence, along with a reduction in comorbid risk factors such as SUDs.
The objectives of this paper are to: (1) identify contextual factors such as policy that impacted the implementation of community-based primary health care (CBPHC) innovations among 12 Canadian research teams and (2) describe strategies used by the teams to address contextual factors influencing implementation of CBPHC innovations. In primary care settings, consideration of contextual factors when implementing change has been recognized as critically important to success. However, contextual factors are rarely recorded, analyzed or considered when implementing change. The lack of consideration of contextual factors has negative implications not only for successfully implementing primary health care (PHC) innovations, but also for their sustainability and scalability. For this evaluation, data collection was conducted using self-administered questionnaires and follow-up telephone interviews with team representatives. We used a combination of directed and conventional content analysis approaches to analyze the questionnaire and interview data. Representatives from all 12 teams completed the questionnaire and 11 teams participated in the interviews; 40 individuals participated in this evaluation. Four themes representing contextual factors that impacted the implementation of CBPHC innovations were identified: (I) diversity of jurisdictions (II) complexity of interactions and collaborations (III) policy, and (IV) the multifaceted nature of PHC. The teams used six strategies to address these contextual factors including: (1) conduct an environmental scan at the beginning (2) maintaining engagement among partners and stakeholders by encouraging open and inclusive communication; (3) contextualizing the innovation for different settings; (4) anticipating and addressing changes, delays, and the need for additional resources; (5) fostering a culture of research and innovation among partners and stakeholders; and (6) ensuring information about the innovation is widely available. Implementing CBPHC innovations across jurisdictions is complex and involves navigating through multiple contextual factors. Awareness of the dynamic nature of context should be considered when implementing innovations.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic, characterised as a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders associated with high risk of CVD. Green banana biomass, which is composed of resistant starches (RS) and cannot be hydrolysed by amylases, delays gastric emptying and modulates insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to improve metabolic disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of consumption of RS from green banana biomass on body composition, fasting plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes on top of treatment. Middle-aged subjects (n 113) of both sexes with pre-diabetes (HbA1c: 5·7–6·4 %) or diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 6·5 %) were randomised to receive nutritional support plus green banana biomass (40 g) (RS: approximately 4·5 g, G1, n 62) or diet alone (G2, n 51) for 24 weeks. Body composition, biochemical analyses and dietary intake were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. In the experimental group (G1), consumption of RS was associated with reduction in HbA1c (P = 0·0001), fasting glucose (P = 0·021), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0·010), body weight (P = 0·002), BMI (P = 0·006), waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), fat mass percentage (P = 0·001) and increase in lean mass percentage (P = 0·011). In controls (G2), reductions were observed in waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), HbA1c (P = 0·002) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P = 0·020). In pre-diabetes or diabetes, non-significant differences were observed in the percentage reduction in HbA1c and fasting glucose in exploratory analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of bioactive starches is a good dietary strategy to improve metabolic control and body composition.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
To investigate the extent of suspected hybridization between the brolga Antigone rubicunda and the Australian sarus crane Antigone antigone gillae, first noted in the 1970s, we analysed the genetic diversity of 389 feathers collected from breeding and flocking areas in north Queensland, Australia. We compared these with 15 samples from birds of known identity, or that were phenotypically typical. Bayesian clustering based on 10 microsatellite loci identified nine admixed birds, confirming that Australian cranes hybridize in the wild. Four of these were backcrosses, also confirming that wild Australian crane hybrids are fertile. Genetic analyses identified 10 times more hybrids than our accompanying visual field observations. Our analyses also provide the first definitive evidence that both brolgas and sarus cranes migrate between the Gulf Plains, the principal breeding area for sarus cranes, and major non-breeding locations on the Atherton Tablelands. We suggest that genetic analysis of shed feathers could potentially offer a cost-effective means to provide ongoing monitoring of this migration. The first observations of hybrids coincided with significantly increased opportunities for interaction between the two species when foraging on agricultural crops, which have developed significantly in the Atherton Tablelands flocking area since the 1960s. As the sarus crane is declining in much of its Asian range, challenges to the genetic integrity of the Australian sarus crane populations have international conservation significance.
This study tested whether the association between interparental conflict and adolescent externalizing symptoms was moderated by a polygenic composite indexing low dopamine activity (i.e., 7-repeat allele of DRD4; Val alleles of COMT; 10-repeat variants of DAT1) in a sample of seventh-grade adolescents (Mean age = 13.0 years) and their parents. Using a longitudinal, autoregressive design, observational assessments of interparental conflict at Wave 1 predicted increases in a multi-informant measurement of youth externalizing symptoms 2 years later at Wave 3 only for children who were high on the hypodopaminergic composite. Moderation was expressed in a “for better” or “for worse” form hypothesized by differential susceptibility theory. Thus, children high on the dopaminergic composite experienced more externalizing problems than their peers when faced with more destructive conflicts but also fewer externalizing problems when exposed to more constructive interparental conflicts. Mediated moderation findings indicated that adolescent reports of their emotional insecurity in the interparental relationship partially explained the greater genetic susceptibility experienced by these children. More specifically, the dopamine composite moderated the association between Wave 1 interparental conflict and emotional insecurity 1 year later at Wave 2 in the same “for better” or “for worse” pattern as externalizing symptoms. Adolescent insecurity at Wave 2, in turn, predicted their greater externalizing symptoms 1 year later at Wave 3. Post hoc analyses further revealed that the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene was the primary source of plasticity in the polygenic composite. Results are discussed as to how they advance process-oriented Gene x Environment models of emotion regulation.
This paper reports on an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier (LNDA) in a transferred-substrate InP double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology which exhibits a uniform low-noise characteristic over a large frequency range. To obtain very high bandwidth, a distributed architecture has been chosen with cascode unit gain cells. Each unit cell consists of two cascode-connected transistors with 500 nm emitter length and ft/fmax of ~360/492 GHz, respectively. Due to optimum line-impedance matching, low common-base transistor capacitance, and low collector-current operation, the circuit exhibits a low-noise figure (NF) over a broad frequency range. A 3-dB bandwidth from 40 to 185 GHz is measured, with an NF of 8 dB within the frequency range between 75 and 105 GHz. Moreover, this circuit demonstrates the widest 3-dB bandwidth operation among all reported single-stage amplifiers with a cascode configuration. Additionally, this work has proposed that the noise sources of the InP DHBTs are largely uncorrelated. As a result, a reliable prediction can be done for the NF of ultra-wideband circuits beyond the frequency range of the measurement equipment.
Social patterning of infectious diseases is increasingly recognised. Previous studies of social determinants of acute respiratory illness (ARI) have found that highly educated and lower income families experience more illnesses. Subjective social status (SSS) has also been linked to symptomatic ARI, but the association may be confounded by household composition. We examined SSS and ARI in the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation (HIVE) Study in 2014–2015. We used SSS as a marker of social disadvantage and created a workplace disadvantage score for working adults. We examined the association between these measures and ARI incidence using mixed-effects Poisson regression models with random intercepts to account for household clustering. In univariate analyses, mean ARI was higher among children <5 years old (P < 0.001), and females (P = 0.004) at the individual level. At the household level, mean ARI was higher for households with at least one child <5 years than for those without (P = 0.002). In adjusted models, individuals in the lowest tertile of SSS had borderline significantly higher rates of ARI than those in the highest tertile (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98–1.92). Households in the lowest tertile of SSS had significantly higher ARI incidence in household-level models (IRR 1.46, 95% CI 1.05–2.03). We observed no association between workplace disadvantage and ARI. We detected an increase in the incidence of ARI for households with low SSS compared with those with high SSS, suggesting that socio-economic position has a meaningful impact on ARI incidence.
Free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations can be elevated in raw milk due to improper handling and management at the dairy farm, and high concentrations of FFA can lead to off flavors in milk. This study aimed to describe how the herd production system, milking system, feeding and technological factors impact on FFA concentrations in bulk tank milk. FFA concentrations in bulk milk samples from 259 organic and 3326 conventional herds were analyzed by FT-IR during one year. The FFA content was significantly lower in bulk milk from organic than conventional herds. This was most evident during the summer half-year when the organic cows graze pasture. Bulk milk from automatic milking systems (AMS) and tie-stalls contained greater concentrations of FFA than any other milking parlor systems. In AMS, high milking frequency was found to be the most significant contributor to elevated FFA content in milk. Moreover, a strong interaction was found between milking interval and production system (organic vs. conventional). The technical factors, pre-cooling, onset time for cooling after milk inlet, contact between milk and agitation also impacted on the FFA concentration, whereas other technical factors including centrifugal pump type, length and height of pumping line and type of AMS manufacturer were found to be without significant effect on FFA. Feeding variables, based on feeding plans and evaluation, only explained a small part of the variation in bulk milk FFA. Overall, this study demonstrated that AMS compared to other milking system contributes significantly to increased FFA concentration in bulk tank milk, and within AMS high milking frequency contributes to increased FFA concentration.