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Use of antimicrobials for food-producing animals is a major public concern due to the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Although dairy production has a relatively low usage of antimicrobials, the potential for further reduction should be explored. The objective of the study was to estimate the current differences in antimicrobial use in Danish organic and conventional dairy herds and to describe the differences between them. Based on data from three different sources, 2604 herds (306 organic and 2298 conventional) were identified for the study. These herds had been either organic or conventional for the entire period from 2015 to 2018. Antimicrobial use was calculated as the treatment incidence in Animal Daily Doses (ADDs)/100 animals/day for three age groups: adult cattle, young stock and calves. For adult cattle, the ratio of median treatment incidence between conventional and organic production ranged from 2.8 : 1 to 3.4 : 1, depending on the specific year. For cows, 25% of the organic herds had a higher treatment incidence than the 25% of conventional herds with the lowest treatment incidence. Antimicrobial use for young stock was low and at a similar level in both the organic and conventional production systems. For calves, the median treatment incidence was 1.2 times higher in conventional herds and 1.6 times higher for the 75th percentile. Analyses of treatment incidence in adult cattle showed an overall decrease from 2015 to 2018 in both organic and conventional herds. The decrease was greater for the conventional herds (0.12 ADD/100 animals/day) compared to the organic herds (0.04 ADD/100 animals/day) over the 4-year period. In addition, herd size was an important risk factor for treatment incidence in conventional herds, increasing by 0.07 ADD/100 animals/day per 100 cows, whereas herd size had a minor influence on the treatment incidence in organic herds. The results of this study demonstrate the large variation in antimicrobial use within both organic and conventional herds, suggesting that further reduction is possible. Furthermore, herd size appears to be a risk factor in conventional herds but not in organic herds – an aspect that should be studied in more detail.
Studies investigating early developmental factors in relation to psychopathology have mainly focused on schizophrenia. the personality dimension of neuroticism seems to be a general risk factor for psychopathology, but evidence on associations between early developmental precursors and personality traits is almost nonexistent. This study is therefore the first to investigate associations between early motor developmental milestones and neuroticism in adulthood.
Mothers of 9125 children in the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort recorded 10 developmental milestones during the child's first life. A sub-sample of the cohort comprising 1182 individuals participated in a follow-up when they were 20–34 years old and were administered the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ). Associations between motor developmental milestones and level of neuroticism, extraversion and psychoticism were analysed by multiple linear regression adjusting for for sex, single-mother status, parity, mother's age, father's age, parental social status, birthweight, and adult intelligence.
Among the 1182 participants, information on individual milestones was available for 447–1045 individuals. Infants who developed high levels of neuroticism as adults tended to crawl, stand with- And without support and walk with- And without support significantly later than individuals with a low level of neuroticism. the results remained significant after adjustment for included covariates. Neither extraversion nor psychoticism was associated with age of attainment of developmental milestones.
The findings are the first of its kind and suggest that delays in early motor development may not only characterize psychopathological disorders such as schizophrenia, but may also be associated with the personality dimension of neuroticism in adulthood.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Both blood- and milk-based biomarkers have been analysed for decades in research settings, although often only in one herd, and without focus on the variation in the biomarkers that are specifically related to herd or diet. Biomarkers can be used to detect physiological imbalance and disease risk and may have a role in precision livestock farming (PLF). For use in PLF, it is important to quantify normal variation in specific biomarkers and the source of this variation. The objective of this study was to estimate the between- and within-herd variation in a number of blood metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and serum IGF-1), milk metabolites (free glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, urea, isocitrate, BHB and uric acid), milk enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase)) and composite indicators for metabolic imbalances (Physiological Imbalance-index and energy balance), to help facilitate their adoption within PLF. Blood and milk were sampled from 234 Holstein dairy cows from 6 experimental herds, each in a different European country, and offered a total of 10 different diets. Blood was sampled on 2 occasions at approximately 14 days-in-milk (DIM) and 35 DIM. Milk samples were collected twice weekly (in total 2750 samples) from DIM 1 to 50. Multilevel random regression models were used to estimate the variance components and to calculate the intraclass correlations (ICCs). The ICCs for the milk metabolites, when adjusted for parity and DIM at sampling, demonstrated that between 12% (glucose-6-phosphate) and 46% (urea) of the variation in the metabolites’ levels could be associated with the herd-diet combination. Intraclass Correlations related to the herd-diet combination were generally higher for blood metabolites, from 17% (cholesterol) to approximately 46% (BHB and urea). The high ICCs for urea suggest that this biomarker can be used for monitoring on herd level. The low variance within cow for NAGase indicates that few samples would be needed to describe the status and potentially a general reference value could be used. The low ICC for most of the biomarkers and larger within cow variation emphasises that multiple samples would be needed - most likely on the individual cows - for making the biomarkers useful for monitoring. The majority of biomarkers were influenced by parity and DIM which indicate that these should be accounted for if the biomarker should be used for monitoring.
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.
There is among Chinese international relations scholars an intense debate about how China can protect and promote Chinese global presence and interests while at the same time continue to adhere to the principle of non-intervention. New concepts, distinctions and approaches are developing as the debate progresses. The current Chinese foreign and security policy practice reflects a more flexible and pragmatic Chinese interpretation – and implementation – of the principle of non-intervention with different degrees and types of intervention. This article explores the search for “legitimate great power intervention” characterizing both the debate among Chinese international relations scholars and the current Chinese foreign and security policy practice, and uses this case as the departure point for a more general discussion of the drivers of change – and continuity – in Chinese foreign and security policy.
The six LIGO detections of merging black holes (BHs) allowed to infer slow spin values for the two pre-merging BHs. The three cases where the spins of the BHs can be determined in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) show that those BHs have high spin values. We discuss here scenarios explaining these differences in spin properties in these two classes of object.
Unbalanced metabolic status in the weeks after calving predisposes dairy cows to metabolic and infectious diseases. Blood glucose, IGF-I, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are used as indicators of the metabolic status of cows. This work aims to (1) evaluate the potential of milk mid-IR spectra to predict these blood components individually and (2) to evaluate the possibility of predicting the metabolic status of cows based on the clustering of these blood components. Blood samples were collected from 241 Holstein cows on six experimental farms, at days 14 and 35 after calving. Blood samples were analyzed by reference analysis and metabolic status was defined by k-means clustering (k=3) based on the four blood components. Milk mid-IR analyses were undertaken on different instruments and the spectra were harmonized into a common standardized format. Quantitative models predicting blood components were developed using partial least squares regression and discriminant models aiming to differentiate the metabolic status were developed with partial least squares discriminant analysis. Cross-validations were performed for both quantitative and discriminant models using four subsets randomly constituted. Blood glucose, IGF-I, NEFA and BHB were predicted with respective R2 of calibration of 0.55, 0.69, 0.49 and 0.77, and R2 of cross-validation of 0.44, 0.61, 0.39 and 0.70. Although these models were not able to provide precise quantitative values, they allow for screening of individual milk samples for high or low values. The clustering methodology led to the sharing out of the data set into three groups of cows representing healthy, moderately impacted and imbalanced metabolic status. The discriminant models allow to fairly classify the three groups, with a global percentage of correct classification up to 74%. When discriminating the cows with imbalanced metabolic status from cows with healthy and moderately impacted metabolic status, the models were able to distinguish imbalanced group with a global percentage of correct classification up to 92%. The performances were satisfactory considering the variables are not present in milk, and consequently predicted indirectly. This work showed the potential of milk mid-IR analysis to provide new metabolic status indicators based on individual blood components or a combination of these variables into a global status. Models have been developed within a standardized spectral format, and although robustness should preferably be improved with additional data integrating different geographic regions, diets and breeds, they constitute rapid, cost-effective and large-scale tools for management and breeding of dairy cows.
Proponents of the Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) for spectrum awards often argue that the format offers two important advantages over the Simultaneous Multiple Round Auction (SMRA): it eliminates aggregation risk by allowing for package bids; and it facilitates efficient outcomes through incentives for straightforward value-based bidding. While the first argument is irrefutable, the second argument is often questioned by practitioners, and recently by the academic literature on auctions as well.
In this paper, we address the question of whether the CCA provides incentives for straightforward bidding in the context of spectrum awards. Straightforward bidding in a CCA describes a strategy where a bidder: (a) bids in each clock round for the package with the highest surplus (intrinsic value of package less clock price of package); and (b) submits bids at full valuation for all desired packages in the supplementary round. The paper builds on the authors’ practical experience with designing spectrum auctions and advising bidders participating in them, spanning more than 15 years.
Evidence from recent spectrum awards using the CCA format suggests that bidders often do not bid straightforwardly in practice, and there are multiple explanations for this. In Section 2, we identify reasons why bidders may not follow the advice of straightforward bidding. Our list includes complexity, the impact of the core pricing principle, budget constraints, and preference for good relative outcomes. Each of these factors provides a rationale for deviating from straightforward bidding in a CCA, under certain circumstances.
Spectrum holdings play a role in determining the level and type of services that mobile operators can offer their customers; spectrum is particularly important for rollout of next-generation LTE services, and associated service attributes such as speed, network capacity and in-building coverage. Under certain conditions, this may create so-called “strategic investment” value for operators, that is value in excess of the intrinsic value to operators which is derived from the competitive benefits of denying spectrum to rival operators. In Section 3, we discuss whether the CCA format may create stronger incentives for bidding based on strategic value relative to other auction formats.
Piglet mortality is a major problem in organic pig production affecting both farm economy and animal welfare. Knowledge is scarce on the risk factors of piglet mortality in Danish commercial organic pig production. The objectives of this study were to evaluate season, litter size, parity, sow body condition and stillborn littermates as risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing of liveborn piglets from parturition until castration at day 3 to 5 postpartum (pp). The study was conducted over a 1-year period in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds practicing outdoor farrowing all year round. Data included recordings on 3393 farrowings with 50 284 liveborn piglets of which 14.8% died before castration. A subset of the dead piglets were collected and necropsied to identify crushed piglets. The average number of liveborn piglets per litter was 14.8 (SD=3.7) and the average time from parturition until castration was 4.1 (SD=1.7) days. A negative binomial regression analysis was used to model the effect of the predictive variables on the early piglet mortality accounting for different time periods from parturition to castration. An increase in maternal body condition score (BCS) and parity significantly increased the risk of dying between parturition and castration. Early mortality was found to be lowest during spring (March to May) and highest during summer (June to August). Being born into a litter with one or more stillborn littermates increased the risk of early mortality. The risk factors for crushing of piglets were evaluated using a logistic analysis. A significant effect of parity and litter size was found where the odds of at least one piglet in a litter with mortality was diagnosed as crushed increased with increasing parity and litter size. In conclusion, being born during summer (June to August), high parity and maternal BCS and stillborn littermates were found to be risk factors for piglet mortality between parturition and castration. In addition, parity and increasing litter size were found to be risk factors for crushing of piglets in litters with mortality.
In a longitudinal study including 642 healthy 8–11-year-old Danish children, we investigated associations between vitamin D dependent SNP and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations across a school year (August–June). Serum 25(OH)D was measured three times for every child, which approximated measurements in three seasons (autumn, winter, spring). Dietary and supplement intake, physical activity, BMI and parathyroid hormone were likewise measured at each time point. In all, eleven SNP in four vitamin D-related genes: Cytochrome P450 subfamily IIR1 (CYP2R1); 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide synthetase-1(DHCR7/NADSYN1); group-specific complement (GC); and vitamin D receptor were genotyped. We found minor alleles of CYP2R1 rs10500804, and of GC rs4588 and rs7041 to be associated with lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations across the three seasons (all P<0·01), with estimated 25(OH)D differences of −5·8 to −10·6 nmol/l from major to minor alleles homozygosity. In contrast, minor alleles homozygosity of rs10741657 and rs1562902 in CYP2R1 was associated with higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations compared with major alleles homozygosity (all P<0·001). Interestingly, the association between season and serum 25(OH)D concentrations was modified by GC rs7041 (Pinteraction=0·044), observed as absence of increase in serum 25(OH)D from winter to spring among children with minor alleles homozygous genotypes compared with the two other genotypes of rs7041 (P<0·001). Our results suggest that common genetic variants are associated with lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations across a school year. Potentially due to modified serum 25(OH)D response to UVB sunlight exposure. Further confirmation and paediatric studies investigating vitamin D-related health outcomes of these genotypic differences are needed.
In Danish organic pig production, one-third of total born piglets die before weaning, and stillbirth has previously crudely been estimated to account for 27% of the total preweaning mortality. The objective of this study was to evaluate season, litter size, parity and body condition of the sow as risk factors for stillbirth in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds. The study was conducted over a 1-year period, and the data included registrations on 5170 farrowings with 82 906 total born piglets. The average number of total born piglets per litter was 16.0, and the number of stillborn piglets per litter was 1.1. A significant effect of season was seen with an odds ratio for stillbirth of 1.15 during summer (May to August) compared with the remaining part of the year. A non-linear effect of litter size was seen where an increase in litter size from 11 to 16 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.11. An increase in litter size from 16 to 21 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.45. A significant interaction between body condition and parity was present. In first parity sows, an increase in body condition score from 2 (thin) to 3 (moderate) and from 3 to 4 (fat) increased the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 1.23 and 1.36, respectively. In sows with parity above 4, an increase in body condition score from 2 to 3 and from 3 to 4 decreases the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 0.68 and 0.79, respectively. In conclusion, increasing litter size and being born during the summer months of May to August were found to be risk factors for stillbirth. Furthermore, an interaction between body condition and parity showed that thin sows with parity above 4 had a substantially increased risk of stillbirth compared with normal and fat sows with parity above 4. In contrast, for parity 1 sows risk of stillbirth was increased in fat sows.
Alternatives to surgical castration are needed, due to stress and pain caused by castration of male pigs. One alternative is production of entire male pigs. However, changed behaviour of entire males compared with castrated males might adversely affect the welfare of entire males and changes in management procedures and production system might be needed. Elements from the organic pig production system might be beneficial in this aspect. The aim of this article is to investigate the effect of grouping strategy including social mixing and group size on levels of mounting behaviour and skin lesions, hypothesising that procedures that disrupt the social stability (e.g. regrouping) will have a larger negative effect in small groups compared with large groups. Approximately 1600 organic entire male pigs of the breed (Landrace×Yorkshire)×Duroc were reared in parallel in five organic herds, distributed across four batches in a 2×2 factorial design in order to test the influence of social mixing (presence or absence of social mixing at relocation) and group size (15 and 30 animals). Animals were able to socialise with piglets from other litters during the lactation period, and were all mixed across litters at weaning. A second mixing occurred at insertion to fattening pens for pigs being regrouped. Counting of skin lesions (1348 or 1124 pigs) and registration of mounting behaviour (1434 or 1258 pigs) were done on two occasions during the experimental period. No interactive effects were found between social mixing and group size on either skin lesions or mounting frequency. Herd differences were found for both mounting frequency and number of skin lesions. No association between skin lesions and mounting were revealed. Social mixing and group size were shown as interacting effects with herds on mounting frequency (P<0.0001), but with no consistent pattern across all herds. In addition, no effect of social mixing was found on mean number of skin lesions, but more lesions were observed in large groups (P<0.036). This could indicate that keeping entire male pigs in groups of 30 animals as compared with smaller groups of 15 may marginally decrease the welfare of these animals.
Sufficient summer/autumn vitamin D status appears important to mitigate winter nadirs at northern latitudes. We conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate autumn vitamin D status and its determinants in 782 Danish 8–11-year-old children (55°N) using baseline data from the Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy New Nordic Diet (OPUS) School Meal Study, a large randomised controlled trial. Blood samples and demographic and behavioural data, including 7-d dietary recordings, objectively measured physical activity, and time spent outdoors during school hours, were collected during September–November. Mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was 60·8 (sd 18·7) nmol/l. Serum 25(OH)D levels ≤50 nmol/l were found in 28·4 % of the children and 2·4 % had concentrations <25 nmol/l. Upon multivariate adjustment, increasing age (per year) (β −2·9; 95 % CI −5·1, −0·7 nmol/l), female sex (β −3·3; 95 % CI −5·9, −0·7 nmol/l), sampling in October (β −5·2; 95 % CI −10·1, −0·4 nmol/l) and November (β −13·3; 95 % CI −17·7, −9·1), and non-white ethnicity (β −5·7; 95 % CI −11·1, −0·3 nmol/l) were negatively associated with 25(OH)D (all P<0·05). Likewise, immigrant/descendant background was negatively associated with 25(OH)D, particularly in females (β −16·3; 95 % CI −21·9, −10·7) (P<0·001) (Pinteraction=0·003). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (min/d) (β 0·06; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·12), outdoor walking during school hours (min/week) (β 0·4; 95 % CI 0·1, 0·6) and intake of vitamin D-containing supplements ≥3 d/week (β 8·7; 95 % CI 6·4, 11·0) were positively associated with 25(OH)D (all P<0·05). The high proportion of children with vitamin D status below the recommended sufficiency level of 50 nmol/l raises concern as levels expectedly drop further during winter months. Frequent intake of vitamin D supplements was strongly associated with status. MVPA and outdoor activity during school hours should be investigated further in interventions to improve autumn vitamin D status in children at northern latitudes.
Increasing litter size has led to introduction of so-called nurse sows in several EU countries. A nurse sow is a sow receiving piglets after having weaned her own piglets and thereby experiencing an extended lactation. In order to analyse whether nurse sows have more welfare problems than non-nurse sows a cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 sow herds in Denmark. Clinical observations were made on nurse and non-nurse sows and their litters. The clinical observations were dichotomized and the effect of being a nurse sow was analysed based on eight parameters: thin (body condition score<2.5), swollen bursae on legs, dew claw wounds, vulva lesions, poor hygiene, poor skin condition, shoulder lesions and cuts and wounds on the udder. Explanatory variables included in the eight models were: nurse sow (yes=1/no=0), age of piglets (weeks old, 1 to 7), parity (1 to 8+) and all first order interactions between these three variables. The effect of using nurse sows on piglet welfare was analysed with five models. The outcomes were: huddling, poor hygiene, lameness, snout cuts and carpal abrasions. The explanatory variables included in the five models were: nurse sow (yes=1/no=0), age of piglets (weeks old, 1 to 7), parity (1 to 8+) and all first order interactions between these three variables. Herd identity was included as a random factor in all models. The nurse sows had a significantly higher risk of swollen bursae on legs (P=0.038) and udder wounds (P=0.001). No differences in risk of being thin or having shoulder lesions were found. Foster litters had significantly higher risk of being dirty (P=0.026) and getting carpal abrasions (P=0.024) than non-foster litters. There was a tendency for higher lameness in foster litters than in non-foster litters (P=0.052). The results show that nurse sows and their piglets to some extent experience more welfare problems than non-nurse sows with piglets at a similar age.