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Neutering or spaying is a commonly recommended veterinary procedure. However, veterinarians are often confronted with conflicting findings and differences in concepts regarding practice and proper nutritional management after the procedure. The objective of the present review was to bring to light the most recent literature, summarise it and discuss the findings focusing on the risks and benefits of neutering in dogs and cats, and to determine the appropriate nutritional management for these animals.
This is a retrospective study over a 5-year period. In total, 3139 embryos were individually cryopreserved (Cryotop®) and warmed using the Kitazato vitrification/warming kit. They were classified into three categories based on their expansion degree. Transfer, implantation and pregnancy rates were assessed for each embryo category and compared using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software. In total, 1139 couples enrolled in infertility treatment programme benefitted from embryo vitrification at day 5. After warming, embryos belonging to the three categories showed similar success rates. Although there was a trend towards better outcomes when grade 3 embryos were transferred, the differences did not reach statistical significance: implantation rates (n fetal sac/n embryo transferred) grade 1: 21.9%, grade 2: 22.7% and grade 3: 30.3% (=0.19). Pregnancy rate (n clinical pregnancy/n transfer) (21.9%, 22.7%, 30.3%, respectively; P=0.11). Miscarriage rate was not statistically different in the three categories (14.5%, 20.4%, 20%, respectively, P=0.51). Our overall results show that it is worth vitrifying slow kinetics embryos as they provide a non-negligible chance to give rise to a pregnancy.
Indium oxide (InOx) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on glass substrates by plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (PERTE) at different substrate temperatures. The films were then submitted to two etching solutions with different chemical reactivity: i) HNO3 (6%), at room temperature; ii) HCl (35%): (40 °Bé) FeCl3 (1:1), at 40 °C. The dependence of the etchability of the films on the structural and deposition conditions is discussed. Previously to etching, structural characterization was made. X-ray diffraction showed the appearance of a peak around 2θ=31° as the deposition temperature increases from room temperature to 190 °C, both for ITO and InOx. AFM surface topography and SEM micrographs of the deposited films are consistent with the structural properties suggested by X-ray spectra: as the deposition temperature increases, the surface changes from a finely grained structure to a material with a larger-sized grain or/and agglomerate structure of the order of 250-300 nm. The roughness Rq varies from 0.74 nm for the amorphous tissue to a maximum of 10.83 nm for the sample with the biggest crystalline grains. Raman spectra are also presented.
Benthic communities form an important component of the marine food chain. Their occurrence also provides information on the health of the ecosystem. A study was carried out to understand the distribution and abundance of macrobenthos along with sediment characteristics and physicochemical parameters in Visakhapatnam Harbour, a major port along the east coast of India. In all 84 macrobenthic taxa were reported from the port area of which 60 were polychaetes and 24 were other invertebrate taxa. Our observations revealed an increase in the number of polychaete species observed over the last 20 years from this region. An earlier study reported 38 polychaete species in 1975 and a year later the number of polychaete species reported was 12, indicating an increase in the number of polychaete species in the present study by about 150%. The macrobenthic abundance and dominance of species varied with the seasons. Pre-monsoon was dominated by Cirratulus sp., during monsoon tanaids were dominant indicating a seasonal shift in the occurrence and dominance of macrobenthos. During post-monsoon, Cossura coasta was dominant followed by Nephtys dibranchis and amphipods. Sediment characteristics (sand, silt and clay), organic carbon and dissolved oxygen were the important factors influencing the abundance and species diversity. The abundance of macrobenthic forms also varied with inner and outer harbour region. Higher species diversity was observed in the outer harbour suggesting the outer harbour has semi-polluted conditions such as higher dissolved oxygen (DO) and salinity, low nutrients (nitrite, nitrate and silicate) and low organic carbon in the sediment.
Lung cancer is the leading global cause of cancer-related mortality. Inter-individual variability in treatment response and prognosis has been associated with genetic polymorphisms in specific genes: EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PTEN and TTF-1. Somatic mutations in EGFR and KRAS genes are reported at rates of 15–40% in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in ethnically diverse populations. BRAF and PTEN are commonly mutated genes in various cancer types, including NSCLC, with PTEN mutations exerting an effect on the therapeutic response of EGFR/AKT/PI3K pathway inhibitors. TTF-1 is expressed in approximately 80% of lung adenocarcinomas and its positivity correlates with higher prevalence of EGFR mutation in this cancer type. To determine molecular markers for lung cancer in Brazilian patients, the rate of the predominant EGFR, KRAS, BRAF and PTEN mutations, as well as TTF-1 expression, was assessed in 88 Brazilian NSCLC patients. EGFR exon 19 deletions (del746–750) were detected in 3/88 (3·4%) patients. Activating KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 61 were noted in five (5·7%) and two (2·3%) patients, respectively. None of the common somatic mutations were detected in either the BRAF or PTEN genes. TTF-1 was overexpressed in 40·7% of squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC). Our findings add to a growing body of data that highlights the genetic heterogeneity of the abnormal EGFR pathway in lung cancer among ethnically diverse populations.
The current research was carried out to evaluate the use of crude protein and fibre components in faeces for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep fed with pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke). The equations were developed from four trials in metabolism cages with 16 sheep in each trial. Each animal received a different quantity of millet leaves in the diet: 0·015, 0·020 and 0·025 dry matter (DM) as a proportion of live weight (LW) and ad libitum with at least 0·2 of daily feed refusals. Organic matter intake (OMI, g/day) was measured, through the difference between offer and refusals; total faeces were collected for 5 days, which was used to determine faecal crude protein (CPf, g/day and g/kg of organic matter (OM)), faecal neutral detergent fibre (NDFf, g/day and g/kg OM), faecal acid detergent fibre (ADFf, g/day and g/kg OM) and OM digestibility (OMD). Linear regression equations were calculated to determine the relationship between OMI and CPf (P<0·001, R2=0·90, relative prediction error (RPE=14·02%). A multiple linear equation was generated for OMI including CPf and NDFf (P<0·001, R2=0·94; RPE=9·25%). Hyperbolic (single and multiple) and exponential models were tested to estimate OMD, where the hyperbolic multiple model including CPf and NDFf showed lower RPE (3·90%). These equations for estimating OMI and OMD were evaluated on sheep grazing P. americanum fertilized with increasing levels of nitrogen (N) (50, 100, 200 and 400 kg N/ha), comparing measured and estimated OMI. The intake estimated by multiple regression (CP and NDFf) showed a higher R2 (0·98) and lower RPE (5·25%) than the simple (CPf only) linear equation (R2=0·94; RPE=20·45%). The results demonstrated the feasibility of using the faecal index generated in metabolism cages for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep grazing P. americanum.
In recent years, platinum-based single crystalline nanoalloys as nanoscale catalysts, such as Pt-M (M = Ni, Co, Fe..etc.), have exhibited improved catalytic performance due to the increase in the surface-to-volume ratio. Some Pt-M nanopolyhedra such as nanocubes and nano-octahedra have been reported with enhanced activity when being used as electrocatalysts. In order to further establish a correlation between the exposed nanocrystal facets (shapes) and their corresponding activities, a pursuit of shape-controlled nanocatalyst synthesis is essential. Although PtPb nanoalloys have been prepared using solution-based methods, few studies have highlighted their catalytic activity as a function of the nanocrystal shape. This work focuses on a modified polyol synthesis technique and an adjustment of the Pb-metal precursor, which serves as a “buffer” in the nucleation stage of the shape-controlled nanoalloy development. Using this developed synthetic strategy, shape-controlled hexagonally close-packed PtPb nanoalloys can be prepared in a one-pot synthesis without additional post-treatment. The as-prepared PtPb nanocrystals demonstrate an improved anode electrocatalytic performance.
Erythropoietin (EPO) gene therapy can be used for several purposes; however, its effects on reproductive performance are unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicological effects of non-viral (EPO) gene transfer on sperm motility, viability, morphology and concentration. Rabbit EPO cDNA was cloned into a pTarget mammalian expression vector. Rabbits were administered with: (1) pTarget/EPO vector, (2) recombinant human EPO (rHuEpo) and (3) saline (control). Both pTarget/EPO and rHuEpo significantly increased (P < 0.05) hematocrit levels 1 week after injection and they remained significantly higher than the control for up to 5 weeks (P < 0.05), showing that both EPO treatments were effective in stimulating the production of red blood cells in rabbits. The EPO gene transfer or rHuEPO administration had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on sperm motility, vigor, viability, concentration or morphology in the testis.
Based on specimens deposited in the scientific collections of the Reef Environment Laboratory of the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, National Museum/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and Oceanography Department of the Federal University of Pernambuco, the first occurrences of the azooxanthellate scleractinians Polycyathus senegalensis and Eguchipsammia cornucopia from Brazilian waters are reported. In addition, latitudinal and/or bathymetric range extensions are reported for Caryophyllia ambrosia caribbeana, Caryophyllia antillarum, Premocyathus cornuformis, Deltocyathus calcar, Paracyathus pulchellus, Flabellum apertum, Sphenotrochus auritus, Madracis asperula and Astrangia solitaria.
The concept of water productivity (WP) or ‘more crop per drop’ has been revived recently in international water debates. Its application has notably been extended from single crops to mixed farming systems, integrating both crops and livestock, with the wider objective of reducing poverty. Using evidence from the Ganga Basin, India, we discuss the relevance of this concept as a tool to guide interventions for livelihood improvement and poverty alleviation. We argue that WP studies would benefit from greater attention to the role of capitals, inequities and institutions. Firstly, it is crucial to acknowledge the heterogeneity of capitals and capabilities of farmers to make changes in their farming systems and practices and avoid one-fix-all interventions. Identifying pre-existing inequities in water access within and among communities will support better targeting of poor communities. WP interventions can either reinforce or reduce inter-household inequities within communities. We stress the need for assessment of institutional impacts of WP interventions on water access and development.
Projections suggest that annual per capita water availability in the Indo-Ganga Basin (IGB) will reduce to a level typical for water-stressed areas. Producing more crop and livestock products, per unit of agricultural water invested, is advocated as a key strategy for future food production and environmental security in the basin. The objective of this study was to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of water requirements for livestock feed production, attendant livestock water productivity (LWP) and implications for the future sustainable use of water resources. We focused on three districts in the IGB representing intensive (higher external inputs, e.g. fertilizer, water) and semi-intensive (limited external input) crop-livestock systems. LWP is estimated based on principles of water accounting and is defined as the ratio of livestock beneficial outputs and services to the water depleted and degraded in producing these. In calculating LWP and crop water productivity (CWP), livestock, land use, land productivity and climatic data were required. We used secondary data sources from the study districts, field observations and discussions with key informants to generate those data sets. Our result showed that the volume of water depleted for livestock feed production varied among the study systems and was highly affected by the type of feed and the attendant agronomic factors (e.g. cropping pattern, yield). LWP value was higher for intensive systems and affected by agricultural water partitioning approaches (harvest index, metaolizable energy). LWP tended to decrease between 1992 and 2003. This can be accounted for by the shift to a feeding regime that depletes more water despite its positive impacts on animal productivity. This is a challenging trend with the advent of and advocacy for producing more agricultural products using the same or lower volume of water input and evokes a need for balanced feeding, by considering the nutritive value, costs and water productivity of feed, and better livestock management to improve LWP.
Ten Polwarth×Texel lambs (26±2·1 kg live weight (LW)), housed in metabolism cages and offered ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) ad libitum, were used in a 5×5 Latin Square experiment to evaluate the effect of supplement type on digestion processes and on amino acid and energy supplies. Five of the 10 lambs were fitted with a rumen catheter and duodenal cannulae. Treatments included no supplement (control); 7 g/kg LW daily of cassava meal (Manihot esculenta, high-starch low-nitrogen (HS-LN)), cassava meal plus corn gluten meal (2:1, high-starch high-undegradable N (HS-UN)), cassava meal plus calcium caseinate (2·8:1, high-starch high-degradable N (HS-DN)) or corn gluten feed (low-starch high-degradable N (LS-DN)). Total intake of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and N, as well as digestible OM intake were increased with HS-UN, HS-DN and LS-DN (P⩽0·050). Forage DM intake was reduced by HS-LN (P=0·030). Apparent digestibility of DM and OM was increased by HS-LN and HS-DN (P⩽0·038). Digestibility of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and OM true digestibility were similar for all treatments. Supplementation with HS-LN decreased duodenal flux of total N, amino acid N, ammonia N and feed residual N (P⩽0·023). None of the supplements affected rumen microbial protein entering the small intestine, whereas the efficiency of rumen microbial protein synthesis (EMPS) was reduced by HS-LN and HS-DN (P⩽0·036). Ruminal degradability of dietary N (RDN) was increased by HS-LN, HS-DN and LS-DN (P⩽0·050). In conclusion, supplementing lambs fed ryegrass with degradable or undegradable high-protein concentrate increased the amino acid supply without affecting the supply of digestible energy, regardless of either the starch content or the degree of ruminal degradability of the protein source. These results indicate that supplementation of ryegrass-based diets should include both starch and protein sources.
Low temperature (400°C) deposition of ferromagnetic Ni-Mn-Ga thin films is successfully performed via rf magnetron sputtering technique using co-deposition of two targets Ni50Mn50 and Ni50Ga50 on sapphire (0001) and Si (100) substrates. The films are in part amorphous with significant degree of crystallinity. The obtained crystallographic structure is shown to be substrate-dependent. Films on both substrates are ferromagnetic at room temperature (Curie temperature ∼ 332.5K) with well-defined hysteresis loops, low coercivity (∼ 100 Oe) and a saturation magnetization of ∼ 200 emu/cc. At low temperature (5 K), both films show increased magnetization value with wider hysteresis loops having higher coercivity and remanent magnetization. The process is therefore effective in achieving the appropriate thermodynamic conditions to deposit thin films of the Ni-Mn-Ga austenitic phase (highly magnetic at room temperature) at relatively low substrate temperature without the need for post-deposition annealing or further thermal treatment, which is prerequisite for the device fabrication.
ArcelorMittal Monlevade is an integrated plant with sinter plant,
blast furnace, BOF, ladle furnace, continuous caster, and rolling mill,
with a capacity of 1.2 million tpy. During the last years, Monlevade
has been raising the ladle free open index through refractory quality
improvement and standardization of operational parameters. The main
actions were changing of the geometry of ladle well block and nozzle,
use of two-layer sand, and control of sand residence time before BOF
tapping. Based on these facts, the ladle free open index has increased
from 98.5 to 99.8% from 2002 to 2006.
In our previous work  we investigated the impact of cold-crystallization on the structure of nanocomposites of PVDF with Lucentite STN™ OMS and observed the crossover composition in which the crystallographic beta phase dominated over alpha phase. Here, melt crystallization of PVDF/OMS nanocomposites was studied in the range of 0 to 1.0 wt% of OMS. In crystallization from melt, a decrease in crystallinity index occurs as a result of an increase in OMS. While beta phase fraction increased with an increase of OMS content in the range of interest, the amount of alpha crystals was found to be dominant even at high OMS compositions. At 1.0 wt% of OMS, beta crystals had reached at most 30% of the total crystallinity. Polarizing optical microscopy (POM) studies showed smaller, less birefringent spherulites with higher melting temperature compared to alpha spherulites appeared with OMS addition. Growth rate of these weakly birefringent spherulites is smaller than that of the strongly birefringent alpha spherulites. The increase in size and amount of the weakly birefringent spherulites with an increase of OMS and their higher melting point suggests these spherulites may be in the beta crystallographic phase.
Hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) systems have been actively investigated as flexible transparent substrates for use in LCD technology. HPC solid films (20-60 μm) obtained from aqueous liquid crystalline solutions present tunable topography. The need for transparent contacts in working electronic devices leads to the study of the properties of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) deposited on these flexible substrates. Substrates obtained from a 30% w/w solution of HPC in water (HPC30) were found to have an isotropic topography with a roughness (Ra ) of 18.4 nm as measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Substrates with an anisotropic topography were obtained from a 65% w/w HPC solution (HPC65). AFM measurements show a Ra = 29.1nm. Two types of peridiocities can be observed in HPC65 substrates. A primary set of large bands, perpendicular to the shear direction is characterized by a periodicity of 1.8-2.1 μm and an average peak-to-valley height of 74-87 nm. This first set of bands lies under a secondary set of smoother band texture with a periodicity of 0.35 – 0.40 μm and an average peak-to-valley height of 2.9-4.4 nm. Transport properties of ITO deposited on HPC30 substrates (ITO+HPC30) show a resistivity around 3x10-2 Ω.cm independent of orientation. ITO films deposited onto HPC65 substrates (ITO+HPC65) are conductive and show a resistivity which depends strongly on current direction about two orders of magnitude. The resistivity measured along the shearing direction is 3.8x10-2 Ω.cm and along a perpendicular direction is 2.7 Ω.cm. The anisotropic resistivity of ITO+HPC65 cannot be a direct consequence of the current path difference between both directions due to surface topography. The optical microscope observation of the ITO+HPC65 surface reveals the presence of cracks in the ITO film along the shear direction, which could be induced by the anisotropic mechanical properties of HPC65 substrates. The resistivity difference in ITO+HPC65 could be attributed to these cracks.
The magnetic and structural properties of sol-gel derived organic/inorganic nanocomposites doped with Fe(II), Fe(III), Nd(III) and Eu (III) ions are discussed. These hybrids consist of poly(oxyethylene)-based chains grafted onto siloxane nanodomains by urea cross-linkages. Small angle X-ray scattering data show the presence of spatial correlations of siloxane domains embedded in the polymer matrix. The magnetic properties of rare-earth doped samples are determined by single ion crystal-field-splitted levels (Eu3+ J=0; Nd3+ J=9/2) and the small thermal irreversibility is mainly associated to structural effects. Fe2+-doped samples behave as simple paramagnet with residual antiferromagnetic interactions. Fe3+-doped hybrids are much more complex, with magnetic hysterisis, exchange anisotropy and thermal irreversibility at low temperatures. Néel temperatures increase up to 14K for the highest (∼5.5%) Fe3+ mass concentration.