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Pregnancy and calving are elements indispensable for dairy production, but the daily milk yield of cows decline as pregnancy progresses, especially during the late stages. Therefore, the effect of stage of pregnancy on daily milk yield must be clarified to accurately estimate the breeding values and lifetime productivity of cows. To improve the genetic evaluation model for daily milk yield and determine the effect of the timing of pregnancy on productivity, we used a test-day model to assess the effects of stage of pregnancy on variance component estimates, daily milk yields and 305-day milk yield during the first three lactations of Holstein cows. Data were 10 646 333 test-day records for the first lactation; 8 222 661 records for the second; and 5 513 039 records for the third. The data were analyzed within each lactation by using three single-trait random regression animal models: one model that did not account for the stage of pregnancy effect and two models that did. The effect of stage of pregnancy on test-day milk yield was included in the model by applying a regression on days pregnant or fitting a separate lactation curve for each days open (days from calving to pregnancy) class (eight levels). Stage of pregnancy did not affect the heritability estimates of daily milk yield, although the additive genetic and permanent environmental variances in late lactation were decreased by accounting for the stage of pregnancy effect. The effects of days pregnant on daily milk yield during late lactation were larger in the second and third lactations than in the first lactation. The rates of reduction of the 305-day milk yield of cows that conceived fewer than 90 days after the second or third calving were significantly (P<0.05) greater than that after the first calving. Therefore, we conclude that differences between the negative effects of early pregnancy in the first, compared with later, lactations should be included when determining the optimal number of days open to maximize lifetime productivity in dairy cows.
The thermal conductivity of amorphous indium zinc oxide (IZO) thin films was measured by the 3ω method. Three IZO films were prepared by dc magnetron sputtering method on Si substrate under different O2 flow ratios (O2 / [Ar+O2]) of 0%, 1%, and 5%. The thermal conductivity of IZO films decreases with an increase in O2 flow ratio, the values of the thermal conductivity were 3.4, 3.1 and 1.2 W m-1 K-1 for O2 flow ratios of 0%, 1%, and 5%, respectively. To investigate relationships among the thermal conductivity, the structure and other physical properties, we were carried out nanoindentation, Rutherford back scattering (RBS), electron spin resonance (ESR). The result of ESR measurements indicated that the amount of conduction electron in the IZO film decreases with increasing O2 flow ratio. Increase of O2 flow ratio reduces the amount of oxygen vacancies for providing free electrons. Therefore, decreasing thermal conductivity with an increase in O2 flow ratio is attributed to decreasing conduction electrons as thermal carrier. On the other hand, the chemical composition of IZO films is independent of O2 flow ratio. Furthermore, density, Young’s modulus and hardness also show little changes with increasing O2 flow ratio. Density, Young’s modulus and hardness are strongly associated with the internal structure. It is probable that influence of oxygen vacancies on the internal structure of IZO film is negligibly small.
Acute diarrhoea remains a major public health challenge in developing countries. We examined the role of a probiotic in the prevention of acute diarrhoea to discover if there was an effect directed towards a specific aetiology. A double-blind, randomized, controlled field trial involving 3758 children aged 1–5 years was conducted in an urban slum community in Kolkata, India. Participants were given either a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or a nutrient drink daily for 12 weeks. They were followed up for another 12 weeks. The primary outcome of this study was the occurrence of first episodes of diarrhoea. We assessed this during 12 weeks of intake of study agent and also for 12 weeks of follow-up. There were 608 subjects with diarrhoea in the probiotic group and 674 subjects in the nutrient group during the study period of 24 weeks. The level of protective efficacy for the probiotic was 14% (95% confidence interval 4–23, P<0·01 in adjusted model). The reduced occurrence of acute diarrhoea in the probiotic group compared to nutrient group was not associated with any specific aetiology. No adverse event was observed in children of either probiotic or nutrient groups. The study suggests that daily intake of a probiotic drink can play a role in prevention of acute diarrhoea in young children in a community setting of a developing country.
Sixty-nine strains of Vibrio cholerae 01 isolated at different times were analysed to investigate if there were any differences among the 01 strains isolated before, during and after the advent of the O139 serogroup. Of the 69 01 strains examined, 68 belonged to the Ogawa serotype while one belonged to the Inaba serotype. With the exception of one strain all other strains of V. cholerae 01 belonged to the eltor biotype. A single O1 strain isolated before the emergence of the O139 serogroup could not be classified as either eltor or classical biotype because it was resistant to both classical and eltor specific bacteriophages. Marked variations in the susceptibility to antibiotics of V. cholerae O1 isolated during the different periods were observed. In addition, strains of V. cholerae isolated after the epidemic of serogroup O139 in Calcutta showed an expanding R-type with resistance to a variety of drugs as compared to the 01 strains isolated before the advent of the O139 serogroup. From this study, it is clear that there is a substantial mobility in genetic elements of V. cholerae Ol which necessitates a continuous monitoring to keep abreast of the changing traits of the etiologic agent of cholera.
The distribution and virulence of Vibrio cholerae serogroups other than O1 and O139 in India before, during and after the advent of O139 serogroup was investigated. A total of 68 strains belonging to 31 different ‘O’ serogroups were identified during the study period. With the exception of O53, there was no spatial or temporal clustering of any particular non-O1 non-O139 serogroup at any given place. Two of the 68 strains examined produced cholera toxin (CT) which could only be partially absorbed with anti-CT immunoglobulin G. Tissue culture assay revealed that some of the non-O1 non-O139 strains produced factors which evoked either a cell rounding or cell elongation response depending upon the medium used. This study indicates that serogroups other than O1 and O139 should also be continuously monitored.
Legionnaires' disease (LD) is a major cause of severe community-acquired pneumonia but the source and mode of transmission are not always apparent, especially in sporadic cases. We hypothesized that LD can be acquired from the air-conditioning systems of motor cars. Swabs were taken from the evaporator compartments of the air-conditioning system of scrapped cars. Healthy subjects who were mainly employees of regional transportation companies were tested for antibody to Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1–6; they also completed a questionnaire. Legionella species were detected in 11/22 scrapped cars by the loop-mediated isothermal amplification method. The prevalence of microplate agglutination titres ⩾1:32 was significantly higher in subjects who sometimes used car air-conditioning systems. Although we did not prove a direct link between Legionella spp. in the car evaporator and LD, our findings point to a potential risk of car air-conditioning systems in LD, which needs further investigation.
This paper summarizes research activities in National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) for evaluation of the radiation effects on selected terrestrial and aquatic organisms as well as the ecosystems. Seven organisms, conifers, fungi, earthworms, springtails, algae, daphnia and Medaka are presently selected to study. For the estimation of possible radiation dose, transfers of radionuclides and related elements from medium to organisms are evaluated. Dose-effect relationships of acute gamma radiation on the survival, growth, and reproduction of selected organisms have been studied. Studies on the effect of chronic gamma radiation at low dose rate were also started. In order to understand the mechanism of radiation effects and to find possible indicators of the effects, information of genome- and metagenome-wide gene expression has been collected. Evaluation of ecological effects of radiation is more challenging task. Study methods by using three-species microcosm were established, and an index for the holistic evaluation of effects on various ecological parameters was proposed. The microcosm has been simulated as a computer simulation code. Developments of more complicated and practical model ecosystems have been started. The Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) has been applied on soil bacterial community in order to evaluate the radiation effects on soil ecosystems.
Several topics of interest involved with precise determination of surface abundances and stellar parameters in the metal-rich regime are reviewed. The main emphasis is placed upon Solar-type F–G dwarfs, though K giants are also mentioned briefly. In particular, in connection with the problem of the validity of the hypothesis of LTE, recent spectroscopic studies of Hyades-cluster stars are discussed together with our own results. Some further discussion concerns age determination using evolutionary tracks, in connection with the existence of old metal-rich stars and the high metallicity of planet-host stars.
We have performed supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy or with cricohyoidopexy for tumour (T) stage T2 and T3 laryngeal cancer cases and some T4 cases. We report the clinical symptoms and management, using this technique to avoid complications.
Among patients undergoing the procedure, two cases manifested laryngeal chondritis following laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy. This complication was caused by C3–4 cervical osteophytes physically contacting the cricoid cartilage. Laryngeal microlaryngoscopy was performed, which revealed white, necrotic tissue in the posterior wall of the pharynx and persistent oedema of the neoglottis.
When encountering a patient with an excessive osteophyte formation at the level of C3–4, one needs to take extra precautions when undertaking laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy or with cricohyoidopexy.
Ion beam-based techniques offer various possibilities for robust spatial control of nanoparticles. Since ion implantation is inherently good at depth control of solutes or nanoparticles, additional lateral control may lead to 3D control of nanoparticles. We pursue a lateral-control method of nanoparticle assembly by controlling photon-energy field under ion implantation. Laser is irradiated into a-SiO2, either sequentially or simultaneously with ion implantation. Ions of 60 keV Cu- or 3 MeV Cu2+ and photons of 532 nm are used to study effects on nanoparticle evolution. Simultaneous laser irradiation under ion implantation enhances surface plasmon resonance (SPR), i.e., nanoparticle precipitation, while sequential laser irradiation of 532 nm tends to cause a decay of SPR, i.e., dissolution of Cu nanoparticles. The energy-field perturbation of laser, interactive with nanoparticle evolution, can be used for controlling nanoparticle assembly.
A novel technique for fabricating highly ordered colloidal photonic crystals has been developed. In this method, a droplet of water containing polystyrene microspheres was added to the surface of a fluorinated solvent bath. Consequently, the two liquids remained separated and the colloidal particles self-assembled into close-packed structures at the interface between them. By transferring the droplet onto a glass slide, a highly ordered crystal was obtained. This technique offers a new, potentially easier, and more effective approach than currently used. We believe that it will open new ways for fabricating materials based on colloidal crystals as well as applying the colloidal photonic crystals to optical devices.
In the serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis, the detection of specific reactions against not only protein but also carbohydrate antigen is useful and both antigens supplement each other. Though recombinant protein antigens have recently advanced, the preparation of carbohydrate antigen still depends on extraction from crude antigens. In the latter case, it is not conventional to obtain carbohydrate antigen as a single component for examination and research. Therefore, chemically synthesized carbohydrate antigens were prepared for serodiagnosis by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Four antigens with the structure of glycosphingolipids from Echinococcus multilocularis were examined and one antigen, Galβ1-6(Fucα1-3)Galβ1-6Galβ1-ceramide, was found to show significant serodiagnostic potential in differentiating alveolar from cystic echinococcosis.
Two patients who received supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy to treat laryngeal cancers, underwent intra-operative electromyography analysis. After the lesion was removed and the electrodes were inserted into the remaining intrinsic laryngeal muscles, the depth of anaesthesia was carefully reduced. Gentle tactile stimulations were applied to the pharynx to trigger the reflex movement of the remaining arytenoids. Recordings were made when reflex movement was achieved.
Case one: Electromyography (EMG) of the remaining arytenoid demonstrated clear phase differences indicating reciprocal activities between the adductor group (lateral cricoarytenoid muscle, interarytenoid muscle) and the abductor muscle (posterior cricoarytenoid muscle). Case two: EMG of the remaining arytenoid demonstrated reciprocal activities between the interarytenoid muscle and the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle. Activity of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle was not evident because the muscle was excised during removal of the paraglottic space. Mobility of the arytenoid was attributed to interaction between the interarytenoid muscle and posterior cricoarytenoid muscle. Reciprocal interaction between the interarytenoid muscle and posterior cricoarytenoid muscle alone is also capable of maintaining post-operative laryngeal functions after supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy.
JNC has developed an uncertainty analysis methodology for application to the spatially heterogeneous characteristics of a geological environment. The developed methodology adopts a new approach that identifies all the possible options in concepts and parameter ranges that cannot be excluded in the light of evidence available. This approach enables uncertainties associated with the understanding at a given stage of the site characterization to be made explicit, using probability theory and possibility theory. The uncertainties could be reduced by screening, to exclude concepts and parameter ranges that can be denied in the light of additional evidence obtained in subsequent investigation stages. This paper describes an outline of the developed methodology and its applicability in the Tono area.