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Size-frequency analysis of the echinoid Echinocyamus pusillus from six offshore areas in the southern North Sea and eastern English Channel reveal five distinct cohorts, suggesting a lifespan of five years. In all six individual areas one or more year-groups are absent, due to the unsuccessful recruitment of planktonic larvae to the seabed in some years, giving a false impression of a shorter lifespan. A relatively long lifespan and planktotrophic larval development are remarkable for such a small species, which reaches a maximum test length of 7.3 mm in the area, such traits being more typical of large-sized macrobenthic species. The feeding mode is akin to that of many meiobenthic taxa. The architecture of the test confers exceptional strength and resilience to mechanical perturbation.
Estuarine habitats are major nurseries for the European flounder Platichthys flesus, with different year classes sharing food and space resources. Hence, an understanding of feeding strategies that optimize resource use and maintain carrying capacity is fundamental for sustainable and successful ecosystem management. The main feeding areas of juvenile European flounder (including 0-group and 1-group age classes) in the Lima estuary (northern Portugal) nursery ground were investigated by integrating stomach content analyses with stable isotopic values (δ13C and δ15N) and fish condition indices (Fulton K and RNA:DNA ratio). The 0-group flounder that were associated with the upstream section of the estuary presented the lowest δ13C value (−25.58 ± 1.86‰), while 1-group flounder exhibited a higher δ13C value (−22.59 ± 2.51‰), indicating use of the more saline areas of the estuary (lower and middle sections). The two age groups did not differ in terms of δ15N (0-group: 13.93 ± 0.29‰; 1-group: 13.50 ± 0.96‰), indicating similar trophic levels. The low salinity upper estuary was the main feeding area of 0-group flounder (74%), while 1-group flounder fed along the estuary both upstream (52%) and downstream (48%). Juvenile flounder showed high individual condition based on the Fulton K index (0-group: 1.05 ± 0.08; 1-group: 1.07 ± 0.05) and RNA:DNA (0-group: 1.70 ± 0.70; 1-group: 1.41 ± 0.47). These indices deal with fish health, and hence indicate nursery habitat quality. It is concluded that in this temperate nursery habitat, different feeding strategies sustained the condition of the European flounder juveniles, compared with other flounder populations.
This study verifies the food assimilation of a carnivorous teleost in different timescales (weeks vs months) and evaluates how it uses the food sources. The target species is the adult ribbonfish, Trichiurus lepturus, a voracious teleost caught in commercial fisheries off south-east Brazil (21°S–22°S). The isotope models indicated Chirocentrodon bleekerianus as the main food in the ribbonfish diet in the last weeks (liver: 38.5%; 95% credible intervals: 3.4–73.9%) and last months (muscle: 36.2%; 95% credible intervals: 3.4–68.7%). The contribution of other food sources ranges from 10–16% (liver) and from 10–20% (muscle). Food assimilation remains similar at different timescales. The isotope models suggested a strong and long-lasting association of the adult females of ribbonfish with coastal waters along the study area.
Neonates with CHD are at increased risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis due to mesenteric hypoperfusion. Necrotising enterocolitis results in repeated feed interruptions contributing to poor growth during the early post-operative phase. Poor weight gain and longer hospital stay are risk factors for death in neonates with CHD. Abdominal radiography is used as a diagnostic tool for necrotising enterocolitis; however, its utility is limited in the early stages of necrotising enterocolitis when pneumatosis intestinalis is absent. Calprotectin is a neutrophil activation biomarker, and elevated levels are evident in inflammatory diseases such as necrotising enterocolitis. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between faecal calprotectin concentration and gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. This prospective single-centre study recruited newly diagnosed term patients with duct-dependent CHD between March 2018 and March 2019. Faecal calprotectin concentrations were measured in post-surgical patients using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. A total of 30 patients were included in the analysis. Calprotectin concentration for patients who developed necrotising enterocolitis was 3528 µg/g compared with 390 µg/g without, compared with 1339 µg/g in patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.0001). Patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis had a significantly longer length of hospital stay, on average 18 days longer compared to patients without necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.03). Faecal calprotectin concentrations may reflect severity of gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. Suspected necrotising enterocolitis contributes to longer days nil by mouth and an increase in length of hospital stay.
The aim of the study was to analyse the influence on tail-biting in undocked pigs during the rearing period of crude fibre in piglets' rations. All pigs were fed the same pre-starter until weaning. The study comprised two trials with four experimental groups each. The first trial contained: a control group (CG1) with conventional feed (up to 40 g/kg crude fibre), two groups with an increased crude fibre content of up to 50 g/kg (G5) and 60 g/kg (G6), respectively, and one group with conventional feed and crude fibre provision ad libitum (AL). The second trial consisted of a control group (CG2) which received the same conventional feed as CG1 and three treatment groups with either soya hulls (SS), dried sugar beet pulp (DP) or oat fibre (OF) admixed to their ration, to achieve a crude fibre content of 60 g/kg in all three groups. The rearing week, the batch, the treatment group (only in trial one) and the interaction between batch and treatment group had a significant influence on tail-lesions (P < 0.05). The tail-biting process started in rearing week 3 (trial one) and 5 (trial two), respectively. Due to the low frequency of tail-biting during the present study, crude fibre seems to have no major influence on tail-biting during the rearing period. This unexpected result may be caused by the optimized conditions in which the piglets were kept and the intensive animal observation carried out by the employees. However, the batch effect was most influential.
Infants with CHD often experience growth failure. Ensuring optimal growth before surgery is associated with improved outcomes and has emerged as a significant cause of parental stress. Parents have reported a perceived lack of accessible feeding information for infants with CHD. To address this gap, the aim of this study was to develop feeding information to better support parents.
Materials and methods:
A search for existing material on six electronic databases and an internet search for unpublished (grey) literature on feeding information for infants with CHD were carried out. Following the development of feeding information, semi-structured interview(s) with parents/health-care professionals were completed, focusing on whether the information was easy to understand, relevant, provided sufficient information around feeding/feeding difficulties, and whether there were any information gaps. Iterative changes were made to the information following each interview. The process was completed until thematic saturation was achieved.
A total of 23 unique articles were identified of which 5 studies were included. From the grey literature, four web pages were reviewed. A total of 22 parents and 25 health-care professionals were interviewed. All parents/health-care professionals felt that the feeding information developed provided sufficient information; however, many wanted information on how to introduce complementary food, particularly if weaning was delayed.
This study describes the development of feeding information for infants with CHD. From parent interviews, gaps identified focused on the introduction of complementary foods and uncertainty regarding the feeding journey beyond surgery.
Rhinoptera steindachneri is a commercially important, medium-sized, pelagic migratory batoid fish with benthic feeding habits. It has been considered a specialized predator that feeds on molluscs as well as benthic ophiurids and arthropods off the Mexican Pacific coast. Most biological aspects of this species in La Paz Bay are unknown, despite its being a commercially important species of conservation interest. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the feeding habits of R. steindachneri based on specimens caught in artisanal fisheries. The stomach contents of 310 specimens (146 females and 164 males) were analysed, all captured from 2013 to 2015. The vacuity index was 97.1%, and the most important prey species were Mysidium spp. and Cylichna spp. Because of the high frequency of empty stomachs recorded, it was not possible to describe with precision the general diet of the species. Three hypotheses were developed to try to explain why this characteristic occurred in this species, ranging from eating habits to physiology and prey digestion and geographic location of the study. However, considering the mechanical process of prey handling of R. steindachneri, several hypotheses were formulated, with the hour of capture, chemical processes and physiology and prey digestion being the most probable to explain this high vacuity index reported in this study.
Considering the additional market value of pasture meat, many authentication methods were developed to discriminate it from meat produced in conventional systems. The visible reflectance spectroscopy technique has proved its efficiency under European conditions and breeds. The present study tested the reliability of this method to discriminate between pasture-fed (P) and stall-fed (S) lambs under North African conditions and investigated the effect of feeding system (FS) (P v. S) and breed (Barbarine; Queue Fine de l’Ouest; and Noire de Thibar) on weight and colour of perirenal, subcutaneous and caudal fat. A total of 18 P and 18 S lambs were used with 6 P and 6 S lambs for each breed. The colour and the reflectance spectrum of different fat tissues were measured. The FS affected weights of all fat tissues and all colour parameters of perirenal and subcutaneous fat (P ≤ 0.01); it almost affected redness and yellowness of caudal fat (P ≤ 0.05; P ≤ 0.01). In all adipose tissues, lightness was higher and both redness and yellowness were lower for S lambs than P lambs. The breed affected weight, lightness and redness of perirenal fat and weight and redness of subcutaneous fat with significant interaction with FS for subcutaneous fat data. To discriminate P lambs from S lambs, the reflectance spectrum of perirenal, subcutaneous and caudal fat at wavelengths between 450 and 510 nm (Method 1, M1) or at wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm using partial least squares discriminative analysis as a classification method (Method 2, M2) were used. M2 yielded to a higher proportion of correctly classified lambs compared with M1 (P = 0.001). The proportion of correctly classified lambs using M2 was 76.4, 75.0 and 80.0% for perirenal, subcutaneous and caudal fat for P lambs and 83.3, 76.4 and 100.0% for S lambs. Despite lower reliability in comparisons to European researches, this study confirmed the efficiency of visible reflectance spectroscopy technique applied on perirenal fat in feeding systems authentication under North African conditions and spotted the caudal fat as a new support for better classification of fat-tailed breeds.
Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for malnutrition. Standardisation of feeding protocols has shown promise in decreasing some of this risk. With little standardisation between institutions’ feeding protocols and no understanding of protocol adherence, it is important to analyse the efficacy of individual aspects of the protocols.
Adherence to and deviation from a feeding protocol in high-risk congenital heart disease patients between December 2015 and March 2017 were analysed. Associations between adherence to and deviation from the protocol and clinical outcomes were also assessed. The primary outcome was change in weight-for-age z score between time intervals.
Increased adherence to and decreased deviation from individual instructions of a feeding protocol improves patients change in weight-for-age z score between birth and hospital discharge (p = 0.031). Secondary outcomes such as markers of clinical severity and nutritional delivery were not statistically different between groups with high or low adherence or deviation rates.
High-risk feeding protocol adherence and fewer deviations are associated with weight gain independent of their influence on nutritional delivery and caloric intake. Future studies assessing the efficacy of feeding protocols should include the measures of adherence and deviations that are not merely limited to caloric delivery and illness severity.
Children with CHD often experience difficulty with oral feeding, which contributes to growth faltering in this population. Few studies have explored symptoms of problematic feeding in children with CHD using valid and reliable measures of oral feeding. The purpose of this study was to describe symptoms of problematic feeding in children with CHD compared to healthy children without medical conditions, taking into account variables that may contribute to symptoms of problematic feeding. Oral feeding was measured by the Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool, a parent report assessment of feeding with evidence of validity and reliability. This secondary analysis used data collected from web-based surveys completed by parents of 1093 children between 6 months and 7 years of age who were eating solid foods by mouth. General linear models were used to evaluate the differences between 94 children with CHD and 999 children without medical conditions based on the Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool total score and four subscale scores. Covariates tested in the models included breathing tube duration, type of CHD, gastroesophageal reflux, genetic disorder, difficulty with breast- or bottle-feeding during infancy, cardiac surgery, and current child age. Children with CHD had significantly more symptoms of problematic feeding than healthy children on the Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool total score, more physiologic symptoms, problematic mealtime behaviours, selective/restrictive eating, and oral processing dysfunction (p <0.001 for all), when taking into account relevant covariates. Additional research is needed in children with CHD to improve risk assessment and develop interventions to optimise feeding and growth.
Feeding greatly affects milk yield and composition. The research is highlighting the potential of genetic polymorphism at some loci to affect milk yield and quality traits. These loci can be up/down regulated depending on the production environment; therefore, we hypothesized that milk yield and composition could differ when cows with different genotype at SCD, DGAT1 and ABCG2 loci are reared in different feeding systems. The polymorphisms of SCD, DGAT1 and ABCG2 genes were investigated in Modicana breed. In all, three polymorphic sites, responsible for the genetic variation of quantitative trait loci and therefore defined quantitative trait nucleotides, were genotyped: the transition g.10329C>T in 5th exon determines a substitution p.A293V in the SCD, the dinucleotide mutation g.10433-10434AA>GC in 8th exon responsible for p.K232A substitution in the DGAT1 and the transition g.62569A>C in the 14th exon responsible for p.Y581S substitution in the ABCG2 gene. In the sample of 165 Modicana cows, SCD and DGAT1 genes resulted polymorphic; the alleles g.10329T and g.10433-10434GC were the most frequent in SCD and DGAT1 (0.73 and 0.91) respectively, whereas ABCG2 locus was monomorphic for allele A (p.581Y). Sequencing analysis was carried out on 14 samples with different genotypes to confirm the results of the PCR-RFLP protocols. Based on the genotypes at SCD locus, 47 Modicana cows were selected for the nutritional trial: 24 cows in a semi-intensive farm, with 2 h/day grazing on natural pasture, and 23 cows in an extensive farm, with 8 h/day grazing on natural pasture. Monthly, milk yield and composition were evaluated and individual milk samples were analyzed for fatty acids composition by gas chromatography. No differences in milk yield, fat, protein, lactose, casein and urea were associated to SCD genotype. Feeding systems affected milk yield and composition. No significant genotype×feeding system interaction was observed for milk yield and composition. Fatty acids composition was significantly affected only by the feeding system. Significant interactions were found between SCD genotype and feeding system for six fatty acids: 4:0, 6:0, 8:0, 10:0, 12:0 and t11 18:1. We concluded that the feeding system was the factor that mostly affected milk production and composition; moreover, our results do not confirm what reported in literature as regard the effect of the SCD polymorphism on milk fatty acid composition. The high amount of pasture seemed to have resized the SCD polymorphism effects because of the different fatty acids composition of the diet.
A plethora of sensors and information technologies with applications to the precision nutrition of herbivores have been developed and continue to be developed. The nutritional processes start outside of the animal body with the available feed (quantity and quality) and continue inside it once the feed is consumed, degraded in the gastrointestinal tract and metabolised by organs and tissues. Finally, some nutrients are wasted via urination, defecation and gaseous emissions through breathing and belching whereas remaining nutrients ensure maintenance and production. Nowadays, several processes can be monitored in real-time using new technologies, but although these provide valuable data ‘as is’, further gains could be obtained using this information as inputs to nutrition simulation models to predict unmeasurable variables in real-time and to forecast outcomes of interest. Data provided by sensors can create synergies with simulation models and this approach has the potential to expand current applications. In addition, data provided by sensors could be used with advanced analytical techniques such as data fusion, optimisation techniques and machine learning to improve their value for applications in precision animal nutrition. The present paper reviews technologies that can monitor different nutritional processes relevant to animal production, profitability, environmental management and welfare. We discussed the model-data fusion approach in which data provided by sensor technologies can be used as input of nutrition simulation models in near-real time to produce more accurate, certain and timely predictions. We also discuss some examples that have taken this model-data fusion approach to complement the capabilities of both models and sensor data, and provided examples such as predicting feed intake and methane emissions. Challenges with automatising the nutritional management of individual animals include monitoring and predicting of the flow of nutrients including nutrient intake, quantity and composition of body growth and milk production, gestation, maintenance and physical activities at the individual animal level. We concluded that the livestock industries are already seeing benefits from the development of sensor and information technologies, and this benefit is expected to grow exponentially soon with the integration of nutrition simulation models and techniques for big data analysis. However, this approach may need re-evaluating or performing new empirical research in both fields of animal nutrition and simulation modelling to accommodate a new type of data provided by the sensor technologies.
Pigeon pea (PP), Cajanus cajan, is a plant that is cultivated for human food and animal feed. It exists as a wide range of cultivars, and their flexibility for use in animal rearing systems have made PP popular, especially for small-scale farmers. PP is grown widely in India and in parts of Africa and Central America. The main producers of PP in the world are India, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the West Indies in the Caribbean and Latin America region, Indonesia and the Philippines and Australia. Analysis has shown that PP contains 17.9-24.3% crude protein (CP) in whole grain, and 21.1-28.1% in split seeds, and high protein genotypes contain 32.5%. Optimal levels of utilisation have been shown to improve broiler performance and may reduce daily feed cost. However, PP contains anti-nutritional factors that negatively affect feed efficiency. The use of processing methods such as fermentation, boiling, milling, soaking, and roasting can minimise any harmful effects and improve its nutritive quality, positively enhancing performance parameters. Studies on the use of PP suggested that it can be included at 7.5% of the diet or as 50% substitution for soybean meal in broiler diets.
Basking sharks Cetorhinus maximus tend to aggregate in summer at favoured locations along Britain and Ireland's west coast. Sharks have been described approaching and close-following one another, often to one side. This has been interpreted as putative pre-mating behaviour. At aggregation sites around the Inner Hebrides we used boat-based observation and in-water and overhead drone video-photography to document behaviour and to determine the sex of individuals. It was confirmed that a shark will frequently move purposely towards another from a distance and swim to maintain a position either directly behind or closely to one side of a conspecific for short periods. Contrary to expectation, we found no relationship between the sex of a shark or its size and close-following. This suggests that following behaviours are not mainly related to courtship. Further, abrasions on the nose suspected to be related to male behaviour were found to occur on both sexes, although abrasions on pectoral fins, similarly suggestive of mating-related behaviour, were predominantly on females. Breaching by basking sharks has also been proposed as a means of attracting the opposite sex. We observed breaching by solitary sharks but commonly by sharks within aggregations, and at other times by more than one shark on the same day at the same time; but there was not any clear evidence to indicate that breaching is primarily related to mating. More likely individuals show close following chiefly for feeding-related hydrodynamic advantage. It remains plausible however that mature sharks make use of feeding aggregations to initiate pre-courtship behaviour.
Approximately 32,000 infants are born with CHDs each year in the United States of America. Of every 1000 live births, 2.3 require surgical or transcatheter intervention in the first year of life. There are few more stressful times for parents than when their neonate receives a diagnosis of complex CHD requiring surgery. The stress of caring for these infants is often unrelenting and may last for weeks, months, and often years, placing parents at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a drastic decrease in quality of life. Anxiety often peaks in the days and weeks after discharge from the hospital as families no longer have immediate access to nursing and medical staff. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methods of a randomised controlled trial that was designed to determine whether REACH would favourably affect parental and infant outcomes by decreasing parental stress, improve parental quality of life, increase infant stability, and decrease resource utilisation in infants with complex CHD.
John Blake (1947–2016) was a leader in fluid mechanics, his two principal areas of expertise being biological fluid mechanics on microscopic scales and bubble dynamics. He produced leading research and mentored others in both Australia, his home country, and the UK, his adopted home. This article reviews John Blake’s contributions in biological fluid mechanics, as well as gives the author’s personal viewpoint as one of the many graduate students and researchers who benefitted from his supervision, guidance and inspiration. The key topics from biological mechanics discussed are: “squirmer” models of protozoa, the method of images in Stokes flow and the “blakelet” solution, discrete cilia modelling via slender body theory, physiological flows in respiration and reproduction, blinking stokeslets in microorganism feeding, human sperm motility and embryonic nodal cilia.
The Permo-Carboniferous eurynotiforms show conspicuous modifications to postcranial and cranial morphology relative to primitive actinopterygian conditions, and represent an important early example of functional experimentation within ray-finned fishes. Although eurynotiforms are represented by abundant articulated fossil material, the internal anatomy of the group is not well known. Microcomputed tomography (μCT) of Eurynotus crenatus from the early Carboniferous (Viséan) Wardie Shales Member of the Gullane Formation of Wardie, Scotland provides detailed information on the jaws, palate and dentition. The lower jaw is deep and bears a well-developed convex dental plate on the prearticular/coronoids. The dentary bears a dorsally directed posterior process and lacks any obvious marginal dentition. The prearticular bears a low coronoid process. Apart from the first and second dermopalatines, and a likely accessory vomer, bones of the palate are tightly sutured or fused. The upper dental plate comprises a longitudinal, concave horizontal dental surface that occludes with the convex lower toothplate, and a more vertical region consisting of anastomosing ridges. The parasphenoid has a narrow anterior corpus and a broad posterior stalk that bears a pronounced midline notch. The smooth, irregularly punctated surfaces of the dental plates are formed by closely packed teeth with conjoined crowns, providing clues to the evolution of the more monolithic toothplates of Amphicentrum from the peg-like teeth reported in the earliest and most anatomically generalised eurynotiforms. The feeding apparatus shows many qualitative and quantitative features consistent with the processing of hard prey items. Eurynotus and its relatives show the first clear example of jaw and dental structures consistent with durophagy among actinopterygians. The origin of the group in the early Carboniferous is suggestive of diversification into newly available ecological roles in the aftermath of the end-Devonian extinction.
In 2011, the Committee on Nutrition of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition systematically reviewed published evidence related to the safety and health effects of the administration of formulae supplemented with pro- and/or prebiotics compared with unsupplemented formulae. We updated evidence on the effects of the administration of prebiotic-supplemented infant formulae (IF) compared with unsupplemented IF. Five databases were searched up to March 2017 for randomised controlled trials. In all, forty-one publications were identified, including twenty-five new publications. The administration of currently evaluated prebiotic-supplemented formulae to healthy infants does not raise safety concerns with regard to growth and adverse effects. Some favourable clinical effects are possible, primarily stool softening, which may be beneficial in some infants. Currently, there is no existing robust evidence to recommend the routine use of prebiotic-supplemented formulae. The latter conclusion may reflect the small amount of data on specific prebiotics and outcomes, rather than a genuine lack of an effect. The efficacy and safety should be considered for each prebiotic(s)-supplemented formula.
The calving interval (CI) can potentially impact the economic results of dairy farms. This study highlighted the most profitable CI and innovated by describing this optimum as a function of the feeding system of the farm. On-farm data were used to represent real farm conditions. A total of 1832 accounts of farms recorded from 2007 to 2014 provided economic, technical and feeding information per herd and per year. A multiple correspondence analysis created four feeding groups: extensive, low intensive, intensive and very intensive herds. The gross margin and some of its components were corrected to account for the effect of factors external to the farm, such as the market, biological status, etc. Then the corrected gross margin (cGMc) and its components were modelled by CI parameters in each feeding system by use of GLM. The relationship between cGMc and the proportion of cows with CI<380 days in each feeding group showed that keeping most of the cows in the herd with CI near to 1 year was not profitable for most farms (for the very intensive farms there was no effect of the proportion). Moreover, a low proportion of cows (0% to 20%) with a near-to-1-year CI was not profitable for the extensive and low intensive farms. Extending the proportion of cows with CI beyond 459 days until 635 days (i.e. data limitation) caused no significant economic loss for the extensive and low intensive farms, but was not profitable for the intensive and very intensive farms. Variations of the milk and feeding components explained mainly these significant differences of gross margin. A link between the feeding system and persistency, perceptible in the milk production and CI shown by the herd, could explain the different relationships observed between the extent of CI and the economic results in the feeding groups. This herd-level study tended to show different economic optima of CI as a function of the feeding system. A cow-level study would specify these tendencies to give CI objectives to dairy breeders as a function of their farm characteristics.
Presently, about 12% of the population is 65 years or older and by the year 2030 that figure is expected to reach 21%. In order to promote the well-being of the elderly and to reduce the costs associated with health care demands, increased longevity should be accompanied by ageing attenuation. Energy restriction, which limits the amount of energy consumed to 60–70% of the daily intake, and intermittent fasting, which allows the food to be available ad libitum every other day, extend the life span of mammals and prevent or delay the onset of major age-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cataracts. Recently, we have shown that well-being can be achieved by resetting of the circadian clock and induction of robust catabolic circadian rhythms via timed feeding. In addition, the clock mechanism regulates metabolism and major metabolic proteins are key factors in the core clock mechanism. Therefore, it is necessary to increase our understanding of circadian regulation over metabolism and longevity and to design new therapies based on this regulation. This review will explore the present data in the field of circadian rhythms, ageing and metabolism.