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In the radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (14C AMS) analysis of gases obtained in a dry extraction from a 52–m Antarctic ice core, we observed 14CO2 and 14CO concentrations decreasing with depth. The concentrations are explained in terms of in-situ production by neutrons and captured muons in ablating ice. The ratio of the 14CO2 concentration to that of 14CO has been found to be constant at 1.9 ± 0.3. The ablation rates obtained of 42 ± 18 cm.yr−1 and 40 ± 13 cm.yr−1 for the neutron and muon components, respectively, are about three times higher than observed from stake readings. The discrepancy may point to an incomplete extraction of the dry extraction method. Using the constant ratio in 14CO2 and 14CO concentrations we correct for the in-situ component in the trapped 14CO2 and deduce an age of 10,300 ± 900 BP for the ice core.
Recently, there has been much interest in detecting and measuring patterns of change in disparity. Although most studies have used one or two measures of disparity to quantify and characterize the occupation of morphospace, multiple measures may be necessary to fully detect changes in patterns of morphospace occupation. Also, the ability to detect morphological trends and occupation patterns within morphospace depends on using the appropriate measure(s) of disparity. In this study, seven measures were used to determine and characterize sensitivity to sample size of the data, number of morphological characters, percentage of missing data, and changes in morphospace occupation pattern. These consist of five distance measures—sum of univariate variances, total range, mean distance, principal coordinate analysis volume, average pairwise dissimilarity—and two non-distance measures—participation ratio and number of unique pairwise character combinations. Evaluation of each measure with respect to sensitivity to sample size, number of morphological characters, and percentage of missing data was accomplished by using both simulated and Ordovician crinoid data. For simulated data, each measure of disparity was evaluated for its response to changes of morphospace occupation pattern, and with respect to simulated random and nonrandom extinction events. Changes in disparity were also measured within the Crinoidea across the Permian extinction event.
Although all measures vary in sensitivity with respect to species sample size, number of morphological characters, and percentage of missing data, the non-distance measures overall produce the lowest estimates of variance (in bootstrap analyses). The non-distance measures appear to be relatively insensitive to changes in morphospace occupation pattern. All measures, except average pairwise dissimilarity, detect changes in occupation pattern in simulated nonrandom extinction events, but all measures, except number of unique pairwise character combinations and principal coordinate analysis volume, are relatively insensitive to changes in pattern in simulated random extinction events. The distance measures report similar changes in disparity over the Permian extinction event, whereas the non-distance measures differ. This study suggests that each measure of disparity is designed for different purposes, and that by using a combination of techniques a clearer picture of disparity should emerge.
European legislation states that after stunning regular checks should be performed to guarantee animals are unconscious between the end of the stunning process and death. When animals are killed without prior stunning these checks should be performed before the animal is released from restraint. The validity of certain indicators used to assess unconsciousness under different stunning and slaughter conditions is under debate. The aim of this study was to validate the absence of threat-, withdrawal-, corneal- and eyelid reflex as indicators to assess unconsciousness in calves subjected to different stunning and slaughter methods. Calves (201±22 kg) were randomly assigned to one of the following four treatments: (1) Captive bolt stunning followed by neck cut in an inverted position (n=25); (2) Non-stunned slaughter in an upright position (n=7); (3) Non-stunned slaughter in an inverted position (180° rotation) (n=25); (4) Non-stunned slaughter in an upright position followed by captive bolt stunning 40 s after the neck cut (n=25). Each calf was equipped with non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes before the slaughter procedure. All reflexes were verified once before the slaughter procedure. At the beginning of the procedure (T=0 s) calves were stunned (treatment 1) or neck cut in an upright position (treatment 2, 4) or inverted position (treatment 3). Calves of treatment 4 were captive bolt stunned 34±8 s after the neck cut. Reflexes were assessed every 20 s from T=15 s for all treatments until all reflex tests resulted in a negative response three times in a row and a flat line EEG was observed. In addition, reflexes were assessed 5 s after captive bolt stunning in calves of treatments 1 and 4. Visual assessment of changes in the amplitude and frequency of EEG traces was used to determine loss of consciousness. Timing of loss of consciousness was related to timing of loss of reflexes. After captive bolt stunning, absence of threat-, withdrawal-, corneal- and eyelid reflex indicated unconsciousness as determined by EEG recordings. After non-stunned slaughter, both threat- and withdrawal reflex were on average lost before calves were unconscious based on EEG recordings. The eyelid- and corneal reflex were on average lost after calves had lost consciousness based on EEG recordings and appeared to be distinctly conservative indicators of unconsciousness in non-stunned slaughtered calves since they were observed until 76±50 and 85±45 s (mean±SD), respectively, after EEG-based loss of consciousness.
Feedback learning is essential for behavioral development. We investigated feedback learning in relation to behavior problems after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Children aged 6–13 years diagnosed with TBI (n = 112; 1.7 years post-injury) were compared with children with traumatic control (TC) injury (n = 52). TBI severity was defined as mild TBI without risk factors for complicated TBI (mildRF− TBI, n = 24), mild TBI with ⩾1 risk factor for complicated TBI (mildRF+ TBI, n = 51) and moderate/severe TBI (n = 37). The Probabilistic Learning Test was used to measure feedback learning, assessing the effects of inconsistent feedback on learning and generalization of learning from the learning context to novel contexts. The relation between feedback learning and behavioral functioning rated by parents and teachers was explored.
No evidence was found for an effect of TBI on learning from inconsistent feedback, while the moderate/severe TBI group showed impaired generalization of learning from the learning context to novel contexts (p = 0.03, d = −0.51). Furthermore, the mildRF+ TBI and moderate/severe TBI groups had higher parent and teacher ratings of internalizing problems (p's ⩽ 0.04, d's ⩾ 0.47) than the TC group, while the moderate/severe TBI group also had higher parent ratings of externalizing problems (p = 0.006, d = 0.58). Importantly, poorer generalization of learning predicted higher parent ratings of externalizing problems in children with TBI (p = 0.03, β = −0.21) and had diagnostic utility for the identification of children with TBI and clinically significant externalizing behavior problems (area under the curve = 0.77, p = 0.001).
Moderate/severe pediatric TBI has a negative impact on generalization of learning, which may contribute to post-injury externalizing problems.
The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between ovulation rate (OR) and embryonic and placental development in sows. Topigs Norsvin® sows (n=91, parity 2 to 17) from three different genetic backgrounds were slaughtered at 35 days of pregnancy and the reproductive tract was collected. The corpora lutea (CL) were counted and the number of vital and non-vital embryos, embryonic spacing (distance between two embryos), implantation length, placental length, placental weight and embryonic weight were assessed. The difference between number of CL and total number of embryos was considered as early embryonic mortality. The number of non-vital embryos was considered as late mortality. Relationships between OR and all other variables were investigated using two models: the first considered parity as class effect (n=91) and the second used a subset of sows with parities 4 to 10 (n=47) to analyse the genetic background as class effect. OR was significantly affected by parity (P<0.0001), but was not affected by the genetic background of the sows. Parity and genetic background did not affect embryonic and placental characteristics at 35 days of pregnancy. OR (varying from 17 to 38 CL) was positively related with early embryonic mortality (β=0.49±0.1 n/ovulations, P<0.0001), with late embryonic mortality or number of non-vital embryos (β=0.24±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.001) and with the number of vital embryos (β=0.26±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.01). However, dividing OR in four classes, showed that the number of vital embryos was lowest in OR class 1 (17 to 21 CL), but not different for the other OR classes, suggesting a plateau for number of vital embryos for OR above 22. There was a negative linear relationship between OR and vital embryonic spacing (β=−0.45±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.001), implantation length (β=−0.35±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.003), placental length (β=−0.38±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.05) and empty space around embryonic-placental unit (β=−0.4±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.02), indicating uterine crowding. Further analyses showed that effects of OR on embryonic and uterine parameters were related with the increase in late mortality and not early embryonic mortality. Therefore, we conclude that a high OR results in an moderate increase in the number of vital embryos at day 35 of pregnancy, but compromises development in the surviving embryonic/placental units, suggesting that the future growth and survival of the embryos might be further compromised.
Assessing unconsciousness is important to safeguard animal welfare shortly after stunning at the slaughter plant. Indicators that can be visually evaluated are most often used when assessing unconsciousness, as they can be easily applied in slaughter plants. These indicators include reflexes originating from the brain stem (e.g. eye reflexes) or from the spinal cord (e.g. pedal reflex) and behavioural indicators such as loss of posture, vocalisations and rhythmic breathing. When physically stunning an animal, for example, captive bolt, most important indicators looked at are posture, righting reflex, rhythmic breathing and the corneal or palpebral reflex that should all be absent if the animal is unconscious. Spinal reflexes are difficult as a measure of unconsciousness with this type of stunning, as they may occur more vigorous. For stunning methods that do not physically destroy the brain, for example, electrical and gas stunning, most important indicators looked at are posture, righting reflex, natural blinking response, rhythmic breathing, vocalisations and focused eye movement that should all be absent if the animal is unconscious. Brain stem reflexes such as the cornea reflex are difficult as measures of unconsciousness in electrically stunned animals, as they may reflect residual brain stem activity and not necessarily consciousness. Under commercial conditions, none of the indicators mentioned above should be used as a single indicator to determine unconsciousness after stunning. Multiple indicators should be used to determine unconsciousness and sufficient time should be left for the animal to die following exsanguination before starting invasive dressing procedures such as scalding or skinning. The recording and subsequent assessment of brain activity, as presented in an electroencephalogram (EEG), is considered the most objective way to assess unconsciousness compared with reflexes and behavioural indicators, but is only applied in experimental set-ups. Studies performed in an experimental set-up have often looked at either the EEG or reflexes and behavioural indicators and there is a scarcity of studies that correlate these different readout parameters. It is recommended to study these correlations in more detail to investigate the validity of reflexes and behavioural indicators and to accurately determine the point in time at which the animal loses consciousness.
This study assessed the long-term effects of feeding diets containing either a gelling fibre (alginate (ALG)), or a fermentable fibre (resistant starch (RS)), or both, on feeding patterns, behaviour and growth performance of growing pigs fed ad libitum for 12 weeks. The experiment was set up as a 2×2 factorial arrangement: inclusion of ALG (yes or no) and inclusion of RS (yes or no) in the control diet, resulting in four dietary treatments, that is, ALG−RS− (control), ALG+RS−, ALG−RS+, and ALG+RS+. Both ALG and RS were exchanged for pregelatinized potato starch. A total of 240 pigs in 40 pens were used. From all visits to an electronic feeding station, feed intake and detailed feeding patterns were calculated. Apparent total tract digestibility of energy, dry matter (DM), and CP was determined in week 6. Pigs’ postures and behaviours were scored from live observations in weeks 7 and 12. Dietary treatments did not affect final BW and average daily gain (ADG). ALG reduced energy and DM digestibility (P<0.01). Moreover, ALG increased average daily DM intake, and reduced backfat thickness and carcass gain : digestible energy (DE) intake (P<0.05). RS increased feed intake per meal, meal duration (P<0.05) and inter-meal intervals (P=0.05), and reduced the number of meals per day (P<0.01), but did not affect daily DM intake. Moreover, RS reduced energy, DM and CP digestibility (P<0.01). Average daily DE intake was reduced (P<0.05), and gain : DE intake tended to be increased (P=0.07), whereas carcass gain : DE intake was not affected by RS. In week 12, ALG+RS− increased standing and walking, aggressive, feeder-directed, and drinking behaviours compared with ALG+RS+ (ALG×RS interaction, P<0.05), with ALG−RS− and ALG−RS+ in between. No other ALG×RS interactions were found. In conclusion, pigs fed ALG compensated for the reduced dietary DE content by increasing their feed intake, achieving similar DE intake and ADG as control pigs. Backfat thickness and carcass efficiency were reduced in pigs fed ALG, which also showed increased physical activity. Pigs fed RS changed feeding patterns, but did not increase their feed intake. Despite a lower DE intake, pigs fed RS achieved similar ADG as control pigs by increasing efficiency in DE use. This indicates that the energy utilization of RS in pigs with ad libitum access to feed is close to that of enzymatically digestible starch.
Resistant starch (RS) has been suggested to prolong satiety in adult pigs. The present study investigated RS-induced changes in behaviour, satiety-related hormones and metabolites in catheterized growing pigs to explore possible underlying mechanisms for RS-induced satiety. In a cross-over design with two 14-day periods, 10 pigs (initial BW: 58 kg) were assigned to two treatments comprising diets containing either 35% pregelatinized starch (PS) or 34% retrograded starch (RS). Diets were isoenergetic on gross energy. Pigs were fed at 2.8× maintenance. Postprandial plasma response of satiety-related hormones and metabolites was measured at the end of each period using frequent blood sampling. Faecal and urinary energy losses were measured at the end of each period. Behaviour was scored 24 h from video recordings using scan sampling. Energy digestibility and metabolizability were ~6% lower in RS compared with PS diet (P<0.001), and metabolizable energy (ME) intake was ~3% lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). RS-fed pigs showed less feeder-directed (P=0.001) and drinking (P=0.10) behaviours than PS-fed pigs throughout the day. Postprandial peripheral short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). Postprandial glucose and insulin responses were lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). Triglyceride levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.01), and non-esterified fatty acid levels did not differ between diets (P=0.90). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels were lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001), and peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) levels did not differ between diets (P=0.90). Blood serotonin levels were lower (P<0.001), whereas monoamine oxidase activity (P<0.05) and tryptophan (P<0.01) levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs. Despite a lower ME intake, RS seemed to prolong satiety, based on behavioural observations. Possible underlying mechanisms for RS-induced satiety include increased 24 h plasma SCFA levels, and decreased postprandial glucose and insulin responses. GLP-1 and PYY seemed not to play a role in RS-induced satiety. Low blood serotonin levels in RS-fed pigs suggested a difference in intestinal serotonin release between treatments. Increased postprandial plasma triglyceride levels corresponded with increased SCFA levels, but it is unclear whether triglycerides may have signalled satiety in RS-fed pigs.
Bentonite is one of the more safety-critical components of the engineered barrier system in the disposal concepts developed for many types of radioactive waste. It is used due to its favourable properties (including plasticity, swelling capacity, colloid filtration, low hydraulic conductivity, high retardation of key radionuclides) and its stability in relevant geological environments. However, bentonite is unstable under alkaline conditions and this has driven interest in low-alkali cements (leachate pH of 10–11). To build a robust safety case, it is important to have supporting natural analogue data to confirm understanding of the likely long-term performance of bentonite. In Cyprus, the presence of natural bentonite in close proximity to natural alkaline groundwaters permits the zones of potential bentonite/alkaline water reaction to be studied as an analogy of the potential reaction zones in the repository. Here, the results indicate minimal volumetric reaction of bentonite, with production of a palygorskite secondary phase.
Sindbis virus (SINV), the prototype positive-sense RNA alphavirus, causes febrile arthritis and is present throughout Afro-Eurasia. Little is known of the epidemiology of Sindbis fever due to insufficient surveillance in most endemic countries. The epidemiological features of Sindbis fever in humans in South Africa are described here based on a retrospective study of suspected arbovirus cases submitted for laboratory investigation from 2006 to 2010. Cases were detected annually mostly during the late summer/early autumn months and an increase in cases was noted for 2010, coinciding with an outbreak of Rift Valley fever. Cases were reported most often from the central plateau of South Africa and involved mostly males. No severe or fatal cases were reported and cases were associated with febrile arthralgia as commonly reported for SINV infection. Further surveillance is required to reveal the true extent of the morbidity of Sindbis fever in South Africa.
The Cyprus Natural Analogue Project was carried out due to the requirement to support ongoing laboratory and modelling efforts on the potential reaction of the bentonite buffer with cementitious leachates in the repository engineered barrier system. Although it is known that the higher pH (12.5–13) leachates from ordinary Portland cement will degrade bentonite, it is unclear if this will also be the case for the lower pH (10–11) leachates typical of low alkali cements. Ongoing laboratory and underground rock laboratory programmes, which are currently investigating this, face the obstacle of slow kinetics and the production of short-lived metastable phases, meaning obtaining unambiguous results may take decades. It was therefore decided to implement a focussed natural analogue study on bentonite/low alkali cement leachate reactions to provide indications of the probable long-term reaction products and reaction pathways to provide feedback on the existing short-term investigations noted above and to ascertain if any critical path research and development needs to be instigated now. The results of the analyses presented here, in this short overview of the project, suggest that there has been very limited alkaline groundwater reaction with the bentonite. This is generally supported by both the geomorphological evidence and the natural decay series data which imply groundwater/rock interaction in the last 105 a.
Nanoparticle synthesis by condensation from the vapor is a versatile process which allows control of both particle size and composition. We have developed a novel aerosol source for producing nanoparticles of metals and metal oxides, nitrides and carbides with controlled mean size. Metal is vaporized by heating a liquid metal pool by means of an atmospheric pressure d.c. arc. The evaporated atoms are entrained in a steady stream of inert gas and are quickly transferred to a quench region where the hot stream from the arc plasma is mixed with a second stream of cold gas. The role of the quench gas is to suppress aggregation by both rapid cooling and dilution. Metal oxide, nitride, and carbide particles are formed by the addition of oxygen, nitrogen, and methane respectively to the inert gas flow in either the arc or the quench region. The size of the primary particles is controlled by varying the metal atom density and residence time in the arc plasma and in the quench region. Cluster aggregation is controlled by varying the cluster density in the flow downstream from the quench region.
Intersubband transitions in n-type InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum wells were studied as a function of 1.0 to 5.0 MRad γ-ray irradiation dose using the optical absorption technique. The spectra were recorded at both 295 and 77K. The results show that the total integrated area of the intersubband transition is decreased as the irradiation dose is increased. This could be explained as follows: The secondary electrons generated from the γ-ray irradiation cause lattice damages where traps and point defects are created. Some of the electrons in the quantum wells are trapped by these defects causing the two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) density to decrease. The reduction of the 2DEG density thus leads to the reduction of the total integrated area of the intersubband transitions.
We have carried out a systematic study of the effects of irradiation on the electronic and optical properties of InGaN alloys over the entire composition range. High energy electrons, protons, and 4He+ were used to produce displacement damage doses (Dd) spanning over five orders of magnitude. The free electron concentrations in InN and In-rich InGaN increase with Dd and finally saturate after a sufficiently high Dd. The saturation of carrier density is attributed to the formation of native donors and the Fermi level pinning at the Fermi Stabilization Energy (EFS), as predicted by the amphoteric native defect model. Electrochemical capacitance-voltage (ECV) measurements reveal a surface electron accumulation whose concentration is determined by pinning at EFS.
Uraniferous particles from contaminated environmental samples were analysed by scanning electron
microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDXA) and microfocus extended X-ray
absorption fine structure (mEXAFS) spectroscopy. The particles of interest are uranium oxides, which
were released into the environment by the combustion of scrap depleted uranium (DU) metal at a
factory in Colonie, New York, USA. Most of the identified particles appear to have primary, ‘as
emitted’ morphologies; some have evidence of minor dissolution, including corrosion pitting.
Polycrystalline and often hollow microscopic spheres were identified, which are similar to particles
produced by DU munitions impacting armoured targets. They are attributed to the autothermic
oxidation of melt droplets. The compositions of the analysed spheres are dominated by UO2+x with
variable amounts of U3O8, two of the least soluble and least bioaccessible phases of U. These particles,
collected from dusts and soils, have survived more than 25 y in the terrestrial environment. This study
further supports the case for using Colonie as an analogue for battlefield DU contamination.
Attempts were made to demonstrate variola virus in the conjunctival exudate of 84 smallpox patients who developed conjunctivitis in the acute stage of the illness or during convalescence. Variola virus was isolated from 60 but not from the remaining 24. Of the 64 from whom virus was isolated the conjunctivitis developed from the onset up to the 15th day of illness. From conjunctivitis developing later virus was not recovered. In some patients who developed conjunctivitis early in the disease we failed to recover virus from the conjunctival exudate.
Of 55 close family contacts who stayed in hospital with smallpox patients four developed smallpox. In 21, conjunctivitis but no other illness developed. From 12 of these, variola virus was recovered from the conjunctival exudate and four of these 12, who were further investigated, showed after the appearance of conjunctivitis antibody titres similar to those seen in typical smallpox cases. From nine of the contacts who developed conjunctivitis virus was not recovered. One of these had antibody titres in serum collected before the onset of conjunctivitis which indicated recent smallpox infection. In another there was a marked antibody rise during her hospital stay although examination of conjunctival exudate on three separate occasions failed to yield variola virus. Twenty-six family contacts who developed no illness in hospital had antibody determinations made on sera collected soon after admission to hospital. In eight of these antibody titres were such as to indicate recent smallpox infection although there were no signs, in the form of scarring, or history of recent smallpox infection. These findings have been discussed in relation to the occurrence of minimal and subclinical infection in close family contacts of smallpox patients.
This investigation was supported in part by Public Health Service Grant AI–1632–16 VR from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, by the World Health Organization and by the Marcus T. Reynolds III Fund.